Report Shows Decline in Kids' Health Coverage in TX and Nationwide
"The report shows that more than 800,000 fewer children had Medicaid/CHIP coverage at the end of 2018 compared to 2017. This trend comes amid broader efforts to restrict access to health coverage and discourage participation by legal immigrants.
"The report found little evidence to support claims that the improving economy was responsible for the 2.2 percent decline in enrollment. Instead, data suggest that 2018 could be the second year in a row that the rate of uninsured children increases. The U.S. Census Bureau will release the 2018 child uninsured rate data later in the fall.
"Enrollment declines are concentrated in seven states – California, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas – which account for nearly 70 percent of the losses.
"Dr. Laura Guerra-Cardus, deputy director for the Children’s Defense Fund of Texas explained [during the release of the report] how overly cumbersome eligibility checks are causing thousands of eligible children to lose coverage in her state. Nine out of every 10 Texas children being dropped are losing coverage due to red-tape, according to CDF-TX. She said the disenrollment is causing significant confusion for families and throughout the Texas health care system as many families don’t learn their children are uninsured until they show up for an appointment with their health care provider.
“These income checks are erroneously flagging families – at the very least 30% of the time. Families are not being given enough time to respond,” she said. “They are given only ten days to respond and the timeline starts once flagged by the system, which could be before the parents even receive notification.”