Udate from Children @ Risk
Posted by Texas Education on March 18, 2009
Uninsured Children Urgently Need Your Help!
Tomorrow, March 19, several critical child health bills will be heard in the House Human Services Committee and we need your support now!. The bills include proposals to provide 12-month eligibility for Medicaid and a Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) buy-in option for families earning above 200 percent of the federal poverty level. These bills could help insure hundreds of thousands of children in Texas!
Contact the Human Services Committee today and urge them to pass these bills favorably on to the House Floor.
More about CHIP
Uninsured children are more likely than their insured counterparts to forego or delay treatment for acute illnesses or injuries, to go without needed treatment for chronic conditions or illnesses. Uninsured patients create higher health care costs for all. A study by Families USA in 2005 found that employer-sponsored family coverage in Texas costs $1,551 more annually as a result of the uninsured.
When children do not have health insurance, their families are more likely to rely on publicly-supported emergency rooms (ERs) for non-urgent health care. Without the benefit of the federal CHIP or Medicaid matching dollars, local taxpayers end up paying the full costs of caring for uninsured children.
Making sure children have twelve months of continuous coverage saves money. A study by Texas Children’s Health Plan found that the longer a child is enrolled in CHIP, the lower the cost of care per child, since children with chronic conditions are better managed and do not rely on the ER.
Small employers, which are struggling to offer affordable health insurance to their employees, often are unable to offer dependent coverage. CHIP gives parents an affordable option for insuring their children. Keeping kids healthy contributes to higher work productivity because parents do not have to leave work to stay home with a sick child.
CHIP also benefits large employers by reducing cost-shifting resulting from high rates of uncompensated care by hospitals and physicians. All employers, large and small, benefit from promoting a healthy future workforce.
Nearly every state in the country is taking bold steps to reduce the uninsured, starting with children. If Texas is to remain a competitive place to do business, it too must be a leader in increasing affordable health insurance for children. CHIP and children’s Medicaid are a good buy for the state.