New Children’s Health Law Reduces the Harmful Impact of Documentation Requirements


Center of Budget and Policy Priorities

A federal law enacted in February will reduce the number of U.S. children who are denied health care coverage because they lack documents verifying their citizenship, according to this summary of the law.

The Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) requires states to provide Medicaid services while parents attempt to obtain documents (such as passports or birth certificates) proving that their children are U.S. citizens. The new law reverses legislation passed in 2006 that made it illegal for states to enroll children in the program without these documents – a provision that prevented “significant numbers of eligible U.S. citizens” from receiving Medicaid, the report said.

Under the new law, states must provide Medicaid coverage to children for up to 45 days while parents attempt to obtain citizenship documents. If parents don’t comply, states can terminate the coverage. Infants whose mothers were receiving Medicaid at the time of their births are now exempt from the documentation requirement. The law also directs states to accept tribal identification documents as proof of citizenship, because many American Indians do not possess birth certificates.

Free, four pages. (202) 408-1080,



Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments




Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top