Moving Backward

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Georgetown University Health Policy Institution, Center for Children and Families

A federal rule issued in August to limit the expansion of state children’s health insurance programs “has resulted in the loss of coverage for thousands of children,” according to this study. It found that at least half the states have been constrained to some extent by the directive from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which, among other things, bars states from offering SCHIP to youth in families whose incomes are above 250 percent of the federal poverty level, until a state enrolls 95 percent of all youth in families below the 200 percent threshold.

Fourteen states offer SCHIP to youths above the 250 percent line, and all of them might be forced to drop that coverage or pay for it with state money. Ten states have passed legislation to expand past 250 percent, but they must receive federal approval to proceed. CMS is likely to reject all of their plans, the report says. Free. 6 pages. (202) 687-0880,