States Maintained Medicaid Coverage in 2010 for Children, Pregnant Women
Income limits for parents much more stringent
LEXINGTON, Ky.—Medicaid coverage for children and pregnant women remained stable in 2010, yet unemployed parents had a particularly hard time getting coverage, according to a new report from The Council of State Governments.
The health group at CSG just released a new Capitol Facts & Figures report, “Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility—Update.” All but two states maintained or improved their eligibility rules for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan. Although states have been suffering the worst economic downturn in decades due to the Great Recession, they have been able to maintain coverage of their most at-risk residents largely due to the temporarily increased federal match funding, called FMAP, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. States also have been required to maintain Medicaid coverage at current levels until federal health reform coverage takes effect in 2014.
Coverage for children, however, is much easier to come by than coverage for parents, working or otherwise. The state median income eligibility for Medicaid coverage of children is 241 percent of the federal poverty limit, which goes down to 185 percent for pregnant women. With working parents, the median coverage is 64 percent, while for jobless parents it is just 37 percent of the federal poverty limit.
“Funding Medicaid coverage for low-income adults obviously is still a problem for many states,” said Debra Miller, CSG’s director of health policy. “These numbers will shift in 2014 though. That’s when the minimum coverage level for Medicaid will change to 133 percent of the federal poverty level due to changes made in the federal Affordable Care Act. That will make a big difference for adults who cannot afford private coverage, yet still earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.”
The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.