medicaid

New “Public Charge” Rule: How does it affect our patients’ families?

Texas is home to approximately 4.7 million immigrants (an estimated 17% of the state population), including approximately 317,000 immigrant children1. Of these immigrants, approximately 1.7 million are naturalized US citizens, nearly 1 million are eligible to become naturalized US citizens, and nearly 2 million are undocumented immigrants1,2. The number of US-born children in Texas who live with an undocumented family member is reported to be approximately 1 million, with approximately 500,000 children with an undocumented parent1,3. Obtaining permanent residency status is a lengthy process and a source of anxiety for many immigrants. Recent changes to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rules regarding which public benefits count negatively towards obtaining permanent residency may impact these families and children. Pediatric healthcare providers should be prepared to help immigrant families understand how the use of public benefits could impact changing their immigration status.

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Removing Barriers to Enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP

Recent figures show that approximately 31 million (or 42%) of U.S. children receive health insurance through Medicaid or CHIP.1,2 These programs have been critical in improving access to pediatric care, which studies show improves medical utilization and leads to better personal, educational, and societal health outcomes. Thus, as healthcare providers, it is critical that we understand how these systems function if we hope to advance our nation’s health. (more…)

Lack of Medicaid expansion in Texas continues to impact uninsured

Dr. Rachael Johnston posted a thoughtful piece about a year ago about the impacts of Texas’ refusal to accept additional funding for Medicaid that is available through the Affordable Care Act. This week, on the heels of the opening of a brand-new Parkland Hospital in Dallas, a hospital that provides care for thousands of low-income patients, the Dallas Morning News has published and editorial outlining the impact that this policy decision has had on the state.

Help support the ACE Kids Act to promote the medical home concept for medically complex children on Medicaid

The Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids (ACE) Act was first introduced in the House in June 2014 by Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Kathy Castor (D-Fla) to improve care for children with complex medical needs on Medicaid. Recently, it has been introduced to the Senate on January 29th, 2015 and re-introduced in the House on January 27th, 2015 with bipartisan support. These children have multiple diagnoses and often require multiple specialists which is why we need to support this legislation so that they can have a place to call their medical home.

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Breast is Best!

Breast feeding is the best thing mothers can do for their babies at the beginning of life. However, many mothers cannot breast feed for long as they must return to work to support their families. Let’s provide all mothers with breast feeding education, lactation support and equipment so that our kids will be healthy. (more…)

Increasing Enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are the two largest public health insurance programs for working and low-income children families in the United States. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), both of these programs have seen an increase in enrollment across the country during the past year even in states, such as Texas, that have decided not to expand Medicaid eligibility to poor adults. As of May 2014, Texas had 80,435 new enrollees in Medicaid– a 1.8% increase over pre-ACA figures. However, roughly 874,000 Texans eligible for Medicaid and CHIP have still not enrolled, including over 700,000 children. (more…)

A World Without CHIP

In her post on Feb 10, Dr Shae Anderson reminded us that federal funding for CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) will soon expire in September 2015. In order to voice its continued support of CHIP and to call for providers to advocate to their legislators, the AAP recently released a revised policy statement on the program in March. (more…)

More Children with Insurance and No Medical Care

On March 31, 2014, Dr. Katie Collins commented on insurance company restrictions as to where patients can receive covered care. The post highlighted that having insurance does not guarantee that a family can see their preferred medical providers. As we continue to educate families on network restrictions, we must also address another population that has insurance but restricted access to healthcare: the child enrolled in Medicaid. (more…)

My Patient Now Has Insurance, So Why Can’t They Get Care?

The passage of the Affordable Care Act has greatly improved access to health insurance by giving Americans an alternative who lack access to traditional employer-based health coverage. The ACA Marketplace gives individuals and families the opportunity to purchase affordable health insurance. However, having insurance does not guarantee the family can see their preferred medical providers. (more…)

The AAP Praises CHIP & Asks for Continued Support

The American Academy of Pediatrics is voicing its continued support of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and hoping to garner future support in the process. CHIP was signed into law in 1997 as part of the Balanced Budget Act, it was reauthorized in 2009 under the CHIP Reauthorization Act, and extended through 2019 with funding through 2015 in 2010 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. (more…)