Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility

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Over the past decade, considerable progress has been made in covering families and children through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP.

  • Forty-six states and Washington, D.C., cover children in families with income at 200 percent or higher of the federal poverty level under Medicaid or CHIP. Twenty-three states and Washington, D.C. provide coverage to children in families with income up to or higher than 250 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • Thirty-nine states and Washington, D.C. cover pregnant women in families with income at
    185 percent of the federal poverty level or higher under Medicaid or CHIP.
  • Six states—Alabama, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming—cover
    pregnant women only up to the federal minimum requirement of 133 percent of the
    federal poverty level. Washington, D.C., Iowa and Wisconsin cover pregnant women up to
    300 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • Median income eligibility among states for parents is 64 percent of the federal poverty
    level, compared to median income eligibility for children of 235 percent of the federal
    poverty level. For jobless parents, the states’ median income eligibility is only 38 percent
    of the federal poverty level.
  • Income eligibility for jobless parents ranges from a low of 11 percent of the federal
    poverty level in Alabama and Louisiana to a high of 215 percent of the federal poverty
    level in Minnesota.
  • Sixteen states and Washington, D.C., cover working parents in families with income at 100
    percent of the federal poverty level or higher under Medicaid or CHIP.
  • Income eligibility for working parents ranges from a low of 17 percent of the federal
    poverty level in Arkansas to a high of 215 percent in Minnesota.

In 2009, health coverage for low-income children and parents not only survived the economic downturn but advanced through eligibility expansions.

  • In 2009, nine states—Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia—increased income eligibility limits for uninsured children.
  • Only two states, California and Tennessee, responded to their state budget crises by
    freezing CHIP enrollment for at least a portion of 2009.
  • Health coverage for pregnant women remained steady in 2009. Iowa raised coverage for
    pregnant women up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level and Virginia expanded
    coverage to 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • Coverage of parents remained stable in 2009; only Arizona cut coverage for parents,
    reducing eligibility from 200 percent of the federal poverty level to 100 percent of the
    federal poverty level. This portion of parent coverage was financed with CHIP funds and
    was not impacted by the provisions of the 2009 Recovery Act.
    medicaid and chip eligIbility

  Download the Excel Version of the Table:  "Income Eligibility Level as a Percent of Federal Poverty Level"

Source: Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, “A Foundation for Health Reform: Findings of a 50 State Survey of Eligibility Rules, Enrollment and Renewal Procedures, and Cost-Sharing Practices in Medicaid and CHIP for Children and Parents During 2009."  December 2009.

 

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