Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has joined Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to introduce legislation that will provide stability for all individuals eligible for either Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by ensuring that they can depend on their coverage for a continuous year. The Stabilize Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Act, would protect Americans from losing their coverage as a result of short-term changes to their incomes. The bill also provides incentives to states to help reduce turnover across Medicaid and CHIP programs.
“A short-term change in income should not affect access to high-quality, affordable health care,” said Whitehouse. “Our legislation will ensure that Rhode Islanders on Medicaid or CHIP don’t lose their coverage due to small bumps in pay and needless bureaucratic hurdles.”
Each year, millions of Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries are at risk of losing that coverage as a result of taking on an extra shift or working overtime that results in a slight income fluctuation. As a result, these short-term changes set in motion bureaucratic snafus that cause taxpayers to be disenrolled from their insurance. Churning in and out of health coverage has a direct, negative effect on beneficiaries as well as the ability of doctors, hospitals, and health plans to provide effective, continuous care. Frequent changes also cause significant administrative challenges that result in higher costs for states, providers, and health plans.
The Stabilize Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Act has been endorsed by a number of organizations, including America’s Essential Hospitals, the Association for Community Affiliated Plans, the Children’s Hospital Association, and Families USA.
Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6).
The full bill text is available here.
Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921