Stabilize Coverage in Medicaid and CHIP

Medicaid and CHIP are a lifeline for many low-income Americans, providing health care coverage when they need it most. However, enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP – unlike private insurance or Medicare – is like a sieve; every year millions of people enroll, only to subsequently lose their coverage, despite still being eligible. These interruptions in coverage, widely known as “churn,” harm the continuity and effectiveness of care.

In the House, Representatives Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and John Katko (R-NY) have introduced H.R. 1879, the Stabilize Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Act of 2019. Senator Sherrod Brown has introduced similar legislation, S. 873, in the Senate. These bills provide 12-month continuous eligibility for all Medicaid and CHIP enrollees.

Urge your Members of Congress (you can find out who represents you here) to cosponsor H.R.1879 or S. 873, the Stabilize Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Act.

If you represent a health care provider or other organizations and would like to add your organization to a list of supporters, contact Jennifer McGuigan Babcock at ACAP.

How Unstable Is Coverage in Medicaid and CHIP?

Currently, the average Medicaid enrollee is on the program less than 10 months per year – see how your state compares. While some enrollees leave the Medicaid program owing to rising incomes, many are instead “churned”: disenrolled and reenrolled in the program owing to bureaucratic and paperwork problems, or because they had a couple of extra hours of overtime in a week.

The Stabilize Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Act would reduce the number of low-income Americans who lack health insurance coverage and improve the stability, continuity and quality of care they receive. It will ensure more efficient and cost-effective care, both from the perspective of medical and administrative expenses.

For more information about how unstable coverage affects the millions of Americans who rely on Medicaid and CHIP, review the churn FAQs.