Children have unique health care needs because of their ongoing development. As they grow and change, children require an array of services to meet their physical and behavioral health care needs.
Children who have health insurance generally have a relationship with a primary care physician and are more likely to be immunized, receive regular check-ups and get prompt treatment for common childhood ailments. Conversely, uninsured children are less likely to see a doctor on a regular basis or when symptoms develop. Because children with health insurance are more likely to avoid preventable childhood illnesses, they generally have better school attendance and better school performance than the uninsured.
Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children’s work has helped to reduce the number of uninsured children in Pennsylvania with current levels being at a historic low of just over 4 percent. However, work must continue to preserve insurance coverage for children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and continue to ensure all children in the state have health care coverage. In addition, unsafe levels of lead exposure, lack of proper nutrition for children and maternal depression are contributing factors that impede proper childhood development and warrant additional research into how public policies can be formulated to improve health outcomes.
Health Care Policy Goals
- Build on the success of Medicaid and CHIP to ensure every Pennsylvania child is insured.
- Assure that benefit packages for children have appropriate health care benefits to meet their needs.
- Promote the positive health effects for children as a direct result of Medicaid, CHIP and/or the Affordable Care Act.
- Promote efforts to identify and prevent lead exposure in children to ensure their healthy development.
- Assure that children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP are appropriately screened and provided with all opportunities for their healthy development.
- Work to improve opportunities to maximize good health through promoting federal and state laws and policies focused on childhood nutrition.
Medicaid Matters for PA Kids
More than 40% of kids in Pennsylvania receive their health care coverage through Medicaid and CHIP.
Medicaid isn’t a handout. It is comprehensive health insurance for more than 1.2 million children in Pennsylvania. Additionally, CHIP provides health insurance to more than 180,000 kids.
Healthy kids equals a stronger Pennsylvania.
Check out our new video series – Medicaid Matters – to view short video messages from grasstops leaders across sectors such as health care, child welfare, early learning and education on why Medicaid and CHIP matter to them.
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