Most States Improved CHIP, Medicaid in 2010

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Despite the ongoing economic downturn and the resulting decline in state budgets, almost all states maintained or made improvements to their Medicaid and CHIP eligibility or enrollment procedures in 2010.

Only New Jersey and Arizona made coverage reductions, according to a state by state review of the system released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, Holding Steady, Looking Ahead.

Enrollment increases in the federal programs offset the loss of employer-offered health care coverage that continued with the lingering high unemployment.

Most of the CHIP and Medicaid increases were funded by the federal stimulus package, which included improved reimbursement rates through this June.

Although states are beginning to make technological improvements to enrollment and administration of the two federal programs, researchers said “states will have a significant amount of work to be prepared in 2014” for implementation of the Affordable Care Act (health reform).

Rather than just holding steady, 13 states made improvements to their CHIP and Medicaid programs, mostly expanding coverage to children.

Many of the improvements are detailed in Hidden in Plain Sight in the January issue of Youth Today.