Sunday, March 07, 2010

Health Insurance for Children

As soon as President Obama took control of the White House, the combined majorities in both chambers were used to enact the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009. As has become the norm, the Republican party opposed the law. So, now that we have one year of experience, it's interesting to revisit the Act to see whether this allegedly socialist measure has worked for good or the evil predicted by the GOP. The purpose was to help the millions of children whose parents had fallen on hard times and could no longer afford private family health plans. In effect, the recession was creating an underclass of children who were potentially uninsured. By making an immediate transfer of funds to individual states, local governments were able to expand their own medical coverage programs to admit more families in need. The current estimate is that about 2.5 million children were allowed into either Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program. This was achieved by a simple change.

All but two of the 50 US states have used the additional federal funding to cover a family of four where the parents earn up to $48,000. This is significantly more than the national poverty level and allows more people into the state schemes albeit, in all but nineteen states, the parents must pay a small monthly premium and some out-of-pocket expenses. Despite increasing the family income threshold, the extent of the coverage has actually reduced in fifteen states. The politics of entitlement is always a complicated affair. The CHIPRA process has required some states to dismantle some of their bureaucratic barriers. Fast track or express lane procedures have been put in place to avoid long waiting lists and delays. With streamlined enrollment, children have been added to the programs on the basis of immediate need, with the follow-up work of verifying family status and income being completed later. The President's wish to make the children the main focus of attention has been respected.

At an administrative level, there is an improved system for the exchange of information between states, and between states and the federal agencies. The intention is to create a full Electronic Health Record for every child so that, no matter where the child presents with symptoms, his or her records can be made available. If this system can be implemented, the expectation is that the quality of pediatric health care will improve and medical costs will be reduced as the flow of information will improve diagnosis without the need to go through detailed tests every time. There is a budget of $33 billion allocated to cover development of an improved health care delivery service for children.

This is a good report card for the first year of additional and targeted funding. Even though some state governments have resisted the federal plan to increase accessibility to Medicaid and CHIP, the number of children newly admitted is encouraging. So, if none of the quotes you receive when you use this site's search engine offer you cheap health insurance, do not give up. Federal and state funding is available to ensure that your children get the medical treatment they need when it is needed. Of course, this is not going to help if your family earnings are too high. In such cases, the only cheap health insurance available may have more limited coverage. If you have to pay, shop around to find individual doctors or clinics who quote the lowest prices for different treatments. Money can be saved if you take the time to use the internet search engines.



© 2010 Ranjan Kumar

4 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Hello. My wife and I bought our house about 6 months ago. It was a foreclosure and we were able to get a great deal on it. We also took advantage of the 8K tax credit so that definitely helped. We did an extensive remodeling job and now I want to refinance to cut the term to a 20 or 15 year loan. Does anyone know any good sites for mortgage information? Thanks!

Mike

company insurance said...

Great efforts have been made to safeguard the future as children are our future. Still there are many who don't have any kind of plan for the health of their children. But soon all will realize the importance of insurance plans. What it need is time and money to find a best deal.

Insured Insurances said...

great share!