Statement of ACAP on Continuous Eligibility Provisions in Year-End Omnibus Appropriations Bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20, 2022
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jeff Van Ness, (202) 204-7515, firstname.lastname@example.org
STATEMENT OF ACAP ON CONTINUOUS ELIGIBILITY PROVISIONS IN YEAR-END OMNIBUS APPROPRIATIONS BILL
WASHINGTON—Today, the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) commented on bill language released by the U.S. Senate on an end-of-year omnibus spending bill, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, that would provide for 12-month continuous eligibility in Medicaid and CHIP for children and for postpartum mothers.
“Just as it’s hard to imagine America without Medicare, the idea of continuous eligibility in Medicaid and CHIP will be one of those things that our future selves will wonder how we let kids and new moms go without for so long,” said Jennifer McGuigan Babcock, Senior Vice President for Medicaid Policy, ACAP. “These provisions will help hundreds of thousands of kids will get needed checkups or specialty care visits that they otherwise would have skipped—and new mothers will get the prenatal visits or checkups after delivery that can make a real difference in their or their children’s health.”
A 2020 study on continuous eligibility commissioned by ACAP associated the policy with:
- A 1.5 percentage point increase in the number of children who saw a specialist in the previous year;
- A reduction of unmet needs for specialty care by 6.0 percent, or about one-third;
- An increase in preventive care visits in the past year by 2.7 percentage points; and
- A reduction in gaps in insurance coverage by 2.4 percentage points.
12 months’ continuous coverage also reduces the perverse disincentive for parents with low incomes to seek additional work.
“One thing that has surprised us in our research around continuous eligibility is how often parents with low incomes decline additional hours at work in order to preserve their child’s Medicaid eligibility,” added Babcock. “As it is, the system forces millions of parents to choose between much-needed extra income and their children’s access to critical medical services. It’s a choice no parent should have to make.
“That’s why ACAP has been calling for continuous eligibility for over a decade, and why we’re glad to see Congress lead on this issue today and provide pregnant moms and kids with the additional health security with which so many Americans are already blessed.”
For more information, visit http://www.coverageyoucancounton.org.
ACAP represents 74 health plans, which collectively provide health coverage to more than 20 million people. Safety Net Health Plans serve their members through Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Marketplace and other publicly-sponsored health programs. For more information, visit www.communityplans.net.
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