New York Seeks To Expand SCHIP
New YorkGov. Eliot Spitzer (D) in his budget for the next fiscal year has proposedincreasing eligibility for Child HealthPlus, the state'sversion of SCHIP, to children in families with incomes up to 400% of thefederal poverty level from 250% of the poverty level, the Albany Times Union reports. The budget seeks anadditional $37 million for the expansion, which would fund coverage for about17,000 additional children. Under the expansion, about 70,000 uninsuredchildren would become eligible for the program. Child Health Plus currently providescoverage to 396,000 children at a cost of $663 million annually.
Spitzer's budget also would change the monthly premiums for the program to $15,$35, $55, $75 or $150 per child, based on income. The change is intended toaddress the large gap between current monthly premiums of $9, $15, $105 or $150per child. In addition, under the budget plan, families would be required topay monthly premiums for up to three children regardless of the number ofchildren a family enrolls in the program.
The proposed budget also calls for the creation of a hotline to help familiesnavigate the health care program and would allocate $7 million forcommunity-based outreach (Crowley,Albany Times Union, 1/30).
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