Indexed on: 02 Nov '07Published on: 02 Nov '07Published in: The Journal of Pediatrics
We present a local and state phased approach for expanding coverage and improving the health care system for children. During the first phase, state regulatory reforms can be instituted to enhance the ability of Medicaid and State Child Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP) programs to provide measurable, high-quality clinical care that is patient-centered, safe, effective, timely, and efficient. The second phase can implement regulatory and legislative reforms that build program awareness in the community and streamline the enrollment process to maximize the enrollment of eligible uninsured children into a state's Medicaid/SCHIP program. The third phase involves a legislative expansion of income eligibility for SCHIP together with state-financed programs for legal immigrant children and foreign national children. The fourth phase considers legislative reforms to make family coverage more affordable to slow the erosion of employer-sponsored family insurance coverage, especially in small businesses.