Children’s health insurance can have lasting benefits to the overall health and well-being of a child. It provides fundamental access to necessary preventative and basic healthcare services, which in time can bolster a child’s ability to avoid bigger health problems later on in his or her life. This has a pronounced effect on their future development and health outcomes as well as improving their performance in school and ultimately reducing overall future healthcare costs.
For the nation’s low-income citizens, Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) are the two main sources of health care coverage. Medicaid is funded by the federal and state governments while SCHIP is children’s health insurance available to low income parents who don’t qualify for Medicaid.
Medicaid extends children’s health insurance coverage to about 28-million poor and near-poor children while SCHIP covers an additional 6-million low-income children. Combined, the two programs cover roughly 25% of the nation’s children and about 50% of all low-income children.
In many cases, many more children qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP but aren’t enrolled because parents are not aware of them. Studies indicate that children’s health insurance provides many benefits and it is well worth efforts to expand and increase funding to both programs.
Covering uninsured children is essential to their long-term health and well-being. Bringing awareness to these children’s families on not just availability, but also assistance with enrollment and access is extremely important. Doing so could significantly reduce the number of uninsured children in the United States.