Children's health insurance

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has published a report on the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), as Congress considers its reauthorization this year. SCHIP was established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, P.L. 105-33 (pdf), Title IV, Subtitle J, chap. 1 (111 Stat. 552 et seq.), which provided funding for SCHIP from 1998 to 2007.

According to the report, SCHIP provides medical coverage to children in families with income that is low but too high for Medicaid. It is federally and state funded and administered by the states within federal guidelines. In 2006, SCHIP covered 6.7 million children, at a cost of $4.8 billion in federal funds.

CBO lists possible changes to SCHIP for Congress to consider in reauthorizing the program:
  • Intensifying efforts to enroll uninsured, eligible children
  • Redefining the target population
  • Changing the allocation formula for state funding
  • Modifying the rules for redistribution of unspent funds
  • Changing state matching rates
  • Modifying benefits states are required to provide

The State Children's Health Insurance Program (pdf, 31pp/1.9MB), May 2007

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