Detecting possible delays in development during a child's early years is a critical part of ensuring every child gets off to the best possible start. About 1 in 10 Pennsylvania children may experience a delay in one or more aspects of development, but Pennsylvania lacks a comprehensive way of monitoring how many children receive developmental screenings that could help detect these delays. Pennsylvania can do more to promote the use of developmental screenings, educate families about their importance and ensure children with possible delays in development receive appropriate follow-up assessments, care and interventions.
The 2016 "State of Children's Health Care" data shows more than 139,000 Pennsylvania children - or about 1 in 20 - still lack health insurance, a statistic that has remained relatively unchanged in recent years despite the commonwealth's longstanding goal of providing "universal coverage" for all documented children. Even among children who are insured through programs like Medicaid and CHIP, there are health care challenges that need to be overcome, as many of these children still are not receiving timely screenings, vaccinations and routine check-ups. In addition to a one-year comparison of children's health statistics, we also have done a five-year comparison to present a long-term view of how children are accessing health care in the commonwealth.
A developmental screening is a series of questions about the development of a young child to help identify the presence of any delays. It can be an important tool to keep kids healthy, yet many Pennsylvania children aren't receiving such screenings. This infographic explains why developmental screenings matter.
Pennsylvania can improve its public benefits programs by reducing the costly and time-consuming "churn" that sometimes occurs when recipients lose benefits because of procedural issues - despite still being eligible for the benefits - and have to reapply.
This document offers recommendations that can help Pennsylvania streamline public benefits programs to reduce churn, benefiting recipients of these programs and all commonwealth taxpayers.
Pennsylvania has more than 139,000 uninsured children, or about 1 in 20 kids. This statistic has remained relatively unchanged for several years, despite Pennsylvania offering "universal coverage" for all legally documented children. Programs like Medicaid and CHIP - which collectively cover nearly 1.3 million of Pennsylvania's 2.8 million children - can help reduce the number of uninsured, but only if the commonwealth becomes more proactive in finding and enrolling kids who need coverage. There are several strategies other states have used successfully to enroll and retain eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP. Pennsylvania should adopt these strategies.
The 2015 "State of Children's Health Care" data shows more than 147,000 Pennsylvania children - or about 1 in 20 - still lack health insurance, a statistic that has remained relatively unchanged in recent years despite the commonwealth's longstanding goal of providing "universal coverage" for all documented children. Even among children who are insured through programs like Medicaid and CHIP, there are health care challenges that need to be overcome, as many of these children still are not receiving timely screenings, vaccinations and routine check-ups.
Young adults who have aged out of the foster care system are at high risk for experiencing homelessness, lack of physical and behavioral health care, unemployment and other adverse situations. Under the Affordable Care Act, states are required to assure continued access to Medicaid and health care services until the youth reaches his or her 26th birthday. Implementation of this important option for vulnerable youth, however, has lagged in Pennsylvania as well as other states. While the Department of Human Services (DHS) has begun to address this issue, we believe additional strategies would further increase enrollment and thereby access to health care.
Despite Pennsylvania's longstanding status as a state of "universal coverage" for all documented children, the commonwealth is home to more than 144,000 children who lack health insurance, according Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children's latest "State of Children's Health Care in Pennsylvania" report. The number equates to about 1 in 20 of Pennsylvania's children lacking insurance – a statistic that has remain relatively unchanged in recent years. The federal government's decision in September 2014 to approve Pennsylvania's "Healthy PA" waiver is expected to enable more low-income adults, many of whom are parents, to obtain health insurance. This could, in turn, result in the coverage of more children, given research that shows parents who have insurance are more likely to have their children insured.
Cross this one off Harrisburg's to-do list: Pennsylvania's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has been renewed for two more years. On Dec. 20, 2015, Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation reauthorizing CHIP through Dec. 31, 2017. CHIP, which provides quality, affordable health care coverage to more than 150,000 children, was set to expire at the end of 2015. But in a show of strong bipartisan support that has been the hallmark of the program since its inception in the early 1990s, the state House and Senate unanimously approved legislation to keep CHIP going for another two years.
A child's first five years of life are marked by tremendous growth, physically and mentally. Detecting possible delays in development or early indicators of autism is extremely important to getting children services they need to better prepare them to learn and grow up healthy.
Pennsylvania has a strong, bipartisan history of providing health care coverage to children through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid. Pennsylvania's CHIP began in 1992 and was among the first in the nation. Recognizing this success, the federal government created and funded CHIP for all states in 1997 to help provide quality coverage to children in working families with incomes above Medicaid levels but insufficient to purchase private coverage. The enactment of Cover All Kids in 2006 expanded CHIP by providing coverage for all documented children in the commonwealth. However, funding for CHIP is not permanent and there is currently only sufficient funding through Sept. 30, 2015. Without additional federal funding, children receiving CHIP in Pennsylvania could lose their coverage.
The Georgetown Center for Children and Families estimates there are about 274,000 uninsured Pennsylvania parents, and nearly half of those parents (about 131,000 in all) qualify for Medicaid. Enrolling these parents in Medicaid can not only give them access to quality, preventive health care, but it also can be a pathway for them to secure health care coverage for their children.
Pennsylvania has a strong bipartisan history of providing health care coverage to children through CHIP and Medicaid. Today, CHIP and Medicaid collectively cover more than 1.2 million Pennsylvania children, with CHIP serving nearly 190,000 kids. Despite the success of these programs, about 144,000 (or 5%) children remain uninsured in Pennsylvania.
Children in foster care often face significant physical and behavioral health care challenges, well beyond those of the general population. When youth leave the foster care system because of their age, they often continue to have considerable health care needs and are less likely to have family support, including the opportunity to receive health care coverage through their parent’s insurance.
Home visiting programs recognize that parents are a child's first teachers, but sometimes even parents need help.