Only Once in Texas History (2003) Have More Children Been Dropped
Press Release from Center for Public Policy Priorities
Austin, TX—Today the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) announced that 17,078 fewer children will be covered by the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in May than in April. This is the second largest number of children ever to be disenrolled in one month, second only to immediately after state budget cuts in 2003. In September 2003, there were 507,259 Texas children enrolled in CHIP; with today’s announcement that number stands at 305,991, a drop of more than 201,000 children (39.7%) since that time.
“This drastic drop in CHIP coverage makes it even more urgent for the Senate to take up HB 109, legislation that overwhelmingly passed the House and would allow children to apply for CHIP once a year instead of twice, eliminate a 90-day waiting period for coverage, and let families deduct child care expenses when determining their eligibility,” said Anne Dunkelberg , Associate Director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities.
Currently legislation is also on the table that would direct the state to correct the problems plaguing enrollment for the CHIP and Children’s Medicaid programs.
“It is critical that the legislature also act to address delays in coverage, understaffing, and processing errors in both CHIP and Medicaid,” Dunkelberg said. “Thousands of children are getting dropped from health coverage and getting lost in the system. Even HB 109 will not be enough if there still aren’t enough staff to properly process applications and renewals.”
Also, below find two useful links, one to the Children’s Defense Fund’s report, In Harm’s Way, which tells the real stories of children who were denied CHIP coverage and the other to CPPP’s overview of state and federal health care policies.
In Harm’s Way report: “True Stories of Uninsured Texas Children,” Children’s Defense Fund.
Child Friendly? How Texas’ Policy Choices Affect Whether Children Get Enrolled and Stay Enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP (CPPP: 03/22/2007). This report illustrates the history and consequences of Texas’ policies related to children’s Medicaid and CHIP, using official state program data. It also summarizes national and state research on the effects of eligibility and enrollment policies, and explains how Texas policies compare to those of other states. The report was funded by the generous support of the Texas Association of Community Health Centers.