The very best thing Texas can do this year to bring down its high rate of uninsured children is to move forward in accepting federal dollars under health reform so more families can access Medicaid coverage. Earlier projections have shown the health law could lead to coverage for 95% of all U.S. children next year, but for that to be realized, the state with themostuninsured kids needs to implement the law fully, including what's called Medicaid expansion.
Although 1.2 million Texans under the age of 19 remain uninsured, Texans Care for Children's new policy brief shows implementing the Affordable Care Act, including allowing all who qualify to enroll in Medicaid would mean:
- Coverage for 400,000 currently uninsured Texas children who are now eligible for Medicaid or CHIP but not enrolled is likely next year.
- As many as710,000 uninsured parents with children at home also would qualify for coverage under the law--and covering parents has been shown to promote children's health and development.
- A low-income Texas parent with one child has no Medicaid option today earning as little as $3,400 a year, but next year the parent could earn up to $21,400 and qualify for Medicaid health care.
- Hundreds of thousands of middle-class families will be able to get new premium supports(tax credits) next year to help make purchases in a health insurance marketplace called the exchange.
Note: This brief is excerpted from our larger report, Solutions to Our Texas Challenge: 30 Ways to Build a Better Future for Kids and Our State.