Children's Health Insurance Programs, 1996

HEHS-97-40R: Published: Dec 3, 1996. Publicly Released: Dec 3, 1996.

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William J. Scanlon
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Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on changes in six health insurance programs for children since 1995. GAO noted that: (1) all of the programs have had some kind of change, either in eligibility or in budget and number of children covered, with some expansions more extensive than others; (2) the Alabama Caring Program for Children increased its family income eligibility limit from $9,500 to $12,000 annually to better reflect what a full-time worker at minimum wage would earn; (3) the Florida Healthy Kids Program had a significant budget expansion, from $8.8 million in 1994 to $25.4 million in 1996; (4) by next year, the Florida Healthy Kids Program expects to be covering about 45,000 children; (5) beginning in January 1997, New York's Child Health Plus Program will expand eligibility to age 19 and add inpatient coverage; (6) the MinnesotaCare Program has expanded enrollment from 45,000 to almost 52,000 children in a program that covers low-income uninsured adults through state funding and children through state/federal Medicaid funding; (7) Pennyslvania's Children's Health Insurance Program was designed to gradually increase the group of eligible children year by year and, as of October 1996, children up through age 17 were covered; and (8) the Western Pennsylvania Caring Program for Children has redesigned its eligibility criteria to complement the state-funded Children's Health Insurance Program to provide seamless coverage for children.

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