Access to Care
Medicaid and The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide health insurance to approximately 30% of American children, making these programs together the largest insurer of children in the country. More than half of all Medicaid enrollees are children, and most of them live in a household where at least 1 parent works. Child coverage, however, accounts for less than one-quarter of total program expenditures. Reauthorized by Congress in 2009, CHIP gives grants to states to provide health insurance coverage to uninsured children through age 18 above the Medicaid income-eligibility threshold. There were an estimated 8.3 million (10%) uninsured US children through age 18 in 2009. Of these children, about (70%) were income-eligible for either Medicaid or CHIP but not enrolled. There were 26.3 million (33%) children enrolled in either Medicaid or CHIP in 2009, a number that has increased from 15.2 million since 2000. The increase in Medicaid and CHIP enrollment has compensated for the large decrease in employer-sponsored coverage during this time, preventing millions of children from becoming uninsured.