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Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (Chip)

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Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program

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Introduction
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was initially created in the U.S. in 1997 in an effort to respond to the needs of millions of children that lacked health insurance coverage. Although the primary focus of the program was to assist in improving the access to health care services among children, it was also a relief to parents who became more motivated to take care of the additional needs of their children. While Medicaid was introduced as a publically funded health care program to assist people seeking access to health care services, CHIP was specifically tailored to meet the health care needs of children. The main purpose of this essay is to present an exploration of Medicaid and CHIP. One of the key areas to explore includes examining the legislation that introduced Medicaid and its funding sources.
Medicaid Legislation and Funding
One of the key areas to examine with regard to Medicaid is the legislation that introduced this particular program and its funding sources. The legislation of Medicaid, Moore and Smith (2006) observe that it took advocacy groups like Trade Unions, Advocates, and Public Welfare Associations to enhance the visibility of medical concerns that were evident in the population. One of the challenges that seemed to persist before the legislation of Medicaid is the fact that not many people were able to see and fully understand the potential of Medicaid and therefore much attention was paid to Medicare instead. However, over time, some Federal Administrators among other key advocacy groups passed the Medicaid program into legislation.
Funding for Medicaid is the responsibility of both the Federal Government and each state as they share responsibility in financing the. The Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities (2015) points out that when it comes to the amount of money spent on Medicaid, individual state policies have a large impact on the same. However, the Medicaid program is considered as a lean program since the program costs less when compared to what other private insurance companies pay for the coverage of people with a similar health status.
Changes in the Medicaid Program Over the years, several changes occurred in the Medicaid program since its inception, which includes the Children’s Health Insurance Program. According to Weil (2007), it is necessary to be mindful of the fact that while the CHIP program is one of the major changes that took place in Medicaid there are still some challenges along the way. He goes on to explain that parents that have jobs that are low paying are usually not in a position to pay for health care insurance hence the need to make some key amendments.
Some of these changes are evident in the fact that low-income earning adults are given the opportunity by some states to access health care with the federal government covering most of their costs. Another change that has taken place in Medicaid since its inception is that which concerns eligibility. However, individual states have the responsibility to determine Medicaid eligibility requirements, which vary from state to state. Given the drastic overhaul that has taken place for Medicaid over the years, there are some concerns from various individuals and bodies to have additional flexibility in the program (Camillo, 2012).
Demographics of the Medicaid Program Another key aspect to consider is the demographics of the majority of people covered by Medicaid and this includes the number of people covered by the same program. One of the key factors that the Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities (2015) makes clear is that Medicaid is a program that can be described as an “entitlement” program considering the fact that anyone who meets the eligibility rules can be part of the cover.
However, the Federal Government established guidelines for identifying people eligible for mandatory coverage under Medicaid. All children under 18 years of age, whose families have income below a certain level, are covered under the Medicaid program. The program would also cover pregnant women whose income falls below a certain income level. The program also takes care of the medical needs of most senior citizens and persons with a disability or disabilities that usually receive monetary assistance through the program known as Supplementary Security Income (SSI). Lastly, there are those families whose income lies within the eligibility limit range of the state for cash assistance before the reform in the welfare.
Changes facing Medicaid with ACA
It is necessary to describe some of the anticipated changes that are expected to occur or are already changing as a part of the Accordable Care Act (ACA). Vernon, Gifford, and Ellis (2015) acknowledge the significant role that Medicaid plays in the health care of the United States. One of the changes is that of the control of covered benefits accorded to patients and this includes controlling the cost of prescription drugs that has been on the rise. Another major change is with regard to eligibility and enrolment, one that causes the states to make changes concerning applications, enrolment, and renewal process, and payment reform systems among other aspects of the program. In addition to ensuring that the health care sector embraces initiatives to enhance their effectiveness, other changes include considering payment and delivery of care options and alternatives. However, the National Conference of the State Legislatures (2011) observes that enhancing the expansion of Medicaid may lead to some funding issues that need to be addressed beforehand. In addition, some states do not receive a financial increase from the Affordable Care Act so additional studies should be conducted on how to grow the enrolment of Medicaid funding when the economy faces budget constraints.
Conclusion
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a program that came in to assist in ensuring that the millions of children that were previously uninsured can now have access to health care services. Over the years, since its implementation in 1997, the CHIP health care program has enabled the health care sector in the United States of America to have a tool that ensures the expanding of health care coverage for children. However, it is necessary to point out that just like any other program; the Children’s Health Insurance Program has also had some success stories, shortcomings, and some challenges along the way. However, it is more important to consider the successes of this health care program as it has ensured that children have access to health care services while also working on some of the shortcomings to improve the program in the years to come.
References
Camillo, C.A. (2012). Implementing Eligibility Changes under the Affordable Care Act: Issues Facing State Medicaid and CHIP Programs. State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE). Retrieved From http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/~/media/publications/PDFs/health/eligibilitychangesstateissues_brief1.pdf Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities. (2015). Policy Basics: Introduction to Medicaid. Policy Basics: Introduction to Medicaid. Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities. Retrieved From http://www.cbpp.org/research/health/policy-basics-introduction-to-medicaid Moore, J.D., & Smith, D.G. (2006). Legislating Medicaid: Considering Medicaid and Its Origins. Health Care Financing Review. Vol. 27, No. 2. National Conference of State Legislatures. (2011). Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. National Conference of State Legislatures. Retrieved From https://www.ncsl.org/documents/health/HRMedicaid.pdf Vernon, K.S., Gifford, K., & Ellis, E. (2015). Medicaid Reforms to Expand Coverage, Control Costs and Improve Care: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved From http://kff.org/medicaid/report/medicaid-reforms-to-expand-coverage-control-costs-and-improve-care-results-from-a-50-state-medicaid-budget-survey-for-state-fiscal-years-2015-and-2016/ Weil, A. (2007). A Health Plan to Reduce Poverty. The Next Generation of Antipoverty Policies. Vol. 17, No. 2.

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