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Policy Resources

This page features a compilation of research on topics related to lower-income families and children. Check back often for additions.

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March 9, 2009
2009 Federal Poverty Guidelines
The Southern Institute on Children and Families has made available the 2009 Federal Poverty Guidelines. Compiled from the 2009 HHS Poverty Guidelines: One Version of the [U.S.] Federal Poverty Measure, these guidelines provide income levels for families at 50%, 100%, 125%, 133%, 150%, 185% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Information is provided for the 48 contiguous United States and separately for Alaska and Hawaii.
View Complete Document

February 11, 2008
2008 Federal Poverty Guidelines
The Southern Institute on Children and Families has made available the 2008 Federal Poverty Guidelines. Compiled from the 2008 HHS Poverty Guidelines, these guidelines provide income levels for families at 50%, 100%, 125%, 133%, 150%, 185% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Information is provided for the continental United States and separately for Alaska and Hawaii.
View Complete Document

July 30, 2007
Web site provides information about health care and the presidential campaign
With health care emerging as the top domestic issue in the 2008 presidential election, the Kaiser Family Foundation has launched a Web site – health08.org – that will provide analysis of health policy issues, regular public opinion surveys and news and video coverage from the campaign trail. The new health08.org Web site (http://www.health08.org) will serve as a hub of information about health and the election, including original content produced by Kaiser and easy access to health-related resources from the campaigns, other organizations and news outlets.

July 2, 2007
The Sorry States of Health Care
This state-by-state study by the Commonwealth Fund shows who has the best and worst grades on 32 health indicators

Learn More
Download Table on US Health Care Rankings

April 16, 2007
Fact Sheet on Utilizing Public Health Coverage to Reduce the Number of Uninsured Children
View the Fact Sheet

April 13, 2007
Health Care Coverage in America: Understanding the Issues and Proposed Solutions
This 24-page guide from the Alliance for Health Reform, updated for Cover the Uninsured Week 2007, provides a readable overview to how Americans get health coverage, why so many of us don’t have coverage and what could be done to ease the problem. Includes many graphs, a glossary of health coverage terms and links to sources of additional information. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

To download, go to www.allhealth.org/publications/Uninsured/Health_Care_Coverage_in_America_2007_54.pdf

Cover the Uninsured Week will be April 23 - 29.
For more information, go to www.covertheuninsured.org

March 5, 2007
Covering Kids & Families Access Initiative Toolkit Available from Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.
The Covering Kids & Families Access Initiative, funded under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Covering Kids & Families National Initiative, was designed to increase the number of eligible children and adults benefiting from public health care coverage programs. The initiative, managed by the Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc., awarded 19 grants to local projects to identify and document barriers to the use of health care services for low-income children and adults enrolled in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and to develop strategies to improve their access to health care services. This report highlights the successes and challenges of local community organizations working to improve access to health care services for low-income families.
View the Report

March 5, 2007
Child Health Insurance Research Initiative (CHIRI™) Findings for SCHIP Authorization and Children’s Healthcare Quality
View Highlights of CHIRI™ Findings for SCHIP Reauthorization
View Highlights of AHRQ Children’s Healthcare Quality Findings
View AHRQ Children’s Coverage Bibliography

January 11, 2007
Resuming the Path to Health Coverage for Children and Parents: A 50 State Update on Eligibility Rules, Enrollment and Renewal Procedures, and Cost-Sharing Practices in Medicaid and SCHIP in 2006
This report presents the findings of a survey of eligibility rules, enrollment and renewal procedures, and cost-sharing practices in Medicaid and SCHIP for children and families in effect in the 50 states and District of Columbia in July 2006. It is the sixth in a series of annual surveys conducted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.
View Complete Document

November 22, 2006
Covering Kids & Families Eligibility Policy Group Resources
Affidavit Attesting to Unavailability of Documentary Evidence of Citizenship
Affidavit Attesting to Citizenship
Affidavit Attesting to Identity of Minor Child

August 29, 2006
Comparing Federal Government Surveys that Count Uninsured People in America
As various government surveys reveal different estimates of the number of Americans without health insurance coverage, analysis indicates that all data point to tens of millions of uninsured Americans—and the number is growing. A report prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center, University of Minnesota.
View the report

August 17, 2006
The Role of Medicaid and SCHIP as an Insurance Safety Net
This Issue Brief, prepared by researchers at The Urban Institute with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, uses data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey to document the decline in health coverage from employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) for low-income adults and children between 2000 and 2004. During this period, uninsurance rates for low-income children fell by more than 2 percentage points, because Medicaid and SCHIP expansion offset the reduction in ESI. Without a similar public coverage safety net for adults, uninsured rates for adults increased nearly 3 percentage points in the same period. The Issue Brief also looks at whether public coverage tended to offset the reduction in ESI in some states more than in others.
View Complete Document

August 9, 2006
The State of Kid's Coverage
This report was released to kick off the Covering Kids & Families 2006 Back to School Campaign, a nationwide effort to enroll eligible children in public coverage programs during the back-to-school season.
View the report

August 9, 2006
Recording of the Covering Kids & Families Deficit Reduction Act Technical Assistance Conference Call
A recording of the CKF Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) Technical Assistance Conference Call, held Friday, July 28, 2006, is now available. The topic of the call was Medicaid eligibility citizenship and identity verification requirements of the DRA. It featured a panel of experts including Judith Solomon from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and representatives from the New York State Department of Health, a state which has experience requiring proof of citizenship for Medicaid eligibility and the Iowa Department of Human Services, a state which is in the process of developing a process for implementing the citizenship and identity requirements.
Listen Now

July 28, 2006
Monitoring the Effects of the Medicaid Citizenship Documentation Requirement: Getting Monitoring Activities Underway
By monitoring what happens to U.S. citizens as they try to secure the required citizenship and identity documents, we can learn a great deal about strategies that may help relieve the burden on individuals, as well as those that are particularly problematic. Many concerned parties have important roles to play in monitoring the effects of the Medicaid Citizenship Documentation Requirement, and advocates can facilitate the process by coordinating efforts to track and report on the consequences of the new rule. This resource from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities outlines ways in which advocates can monitor the effects of the Medicaid Citizenship Documentation Requirement.
View Complete Document

July 25, 2006
Links to Deficit Reduction Act Interim Final Regulations, State Medicaid Director Letters and Preprints
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a series of Dear State Medicaid Director Letters and preprints regarding provisions of the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA). On July 12, 2006, the US Department of Health and Human Services published to the Federal Register interim final regulations with comment for states to implement a new requirement, effective July 1, 2006, that persons applying for Medicaid must document their citizenship.
Download the interim final regulations

Section 6085 of the DRA created a new section 1932(b)(2)(D) of the Social Security Act. The provision establishes a limit on the amount to be paid to non-contracting providers of emergency services at the amount that would have been paid if the service had been provided under the State's FFS Medicaid program.
Download the Dear State Medicaid Director Letter issued March 31, 2006, regarding Section 6085

The DRA through sections 6041, 6042 and 6043 provides State Medicaid agencies with a new option to impose premiums and cost sharing upon certain Medicaid recipients. These sections of the DRA inserted a new section 1916A in the Social Security Act (the Act) which sets forth options for alternative premiums and cost sharing that are not subject to the limitations under section 1916 of the Act, including cost sharing for non-preferred prescription drugs, and cost sharing for non-emergency use of a hospital emergency room.
Download the Dear State Medicaid Director Letter issued June 16, 2006, regarding Sections 6041, 6042 and 6043

CMS also provided State plan preprint pages for states to use regarding the adoption of these provisions.
Section 6041 Preprint
Section 6042 Preprint

July 12, 2006
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Announce Documentation of Citizenship Requirement
On July 6, 2006, the US Department of Health and Human Services placed on display at the Federal Register interim final regulations with comment to be published July 12, 2006, for states to implement a new requirement, effective July 1, 2006, that persons applying for Medicaid must document their citizenship. This interim final rule with comment will amend Medicaid regulations to implement the provision of the Deficit Reduction Act that requires States to obtain satisfactory documentary evidence of an applicant's or recipient's citizenship and identity in order to receive Federal financial participation. This interim final with comment regulation will provide states with guidance on the types of documentary evidence that may be accepted, including alternative forms of documentary evidence in addition to those described in the statute and the conditions under which this documentary evidence can be accepted to establish the applicant's declaration of citizenship. It will also give states guidance on the processes that may be used to help minimize the administrative burden on states, applicants and recipients.
The interim final regulations match most of the guidance that was provided to State Medicaid Directors on June 9, 2006. Comments from the public will be accepted through August 11, 2006.
Download the regulations

June 9, 2006
HHS Issues Citizenship Guidelines for Medicaid Eligibility
On June 9, 2006, the United States Department of Health and Human Services issued guidelines for states to implement a new requirement, effective July 1, that persons applying for Medicaid or renewing their Medicaid coverage document their citizenship. Access the Dear State Medicaid Director Letter and a fact sheet from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Web site.

April 26, 2006
The Coverage Gap: A State-by-State Report on Access to Care
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) commissioned the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) to develop a comprehensive state-by-state analysis on access to health care by people who do and do not have health care coverage.
View the report

August 2, 2005
Going Without: America's Uninsured Children
This report was released to kick off the Covering Kids & Families 2005 Back-to-School Campaign, a nationwide effort to enroll eligible children in public coverage programs during the back-to-school season.
View the report

May 2, 2005
Uninsured Americans with Chronic Health Conditions: Key Findings from the National Health Interview Survey
Prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation by The Urban Institute and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2003 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)
View the report

April 27, 2005
Characteristics of the Uninsured: A View from the States 2005
A report prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center, University of Minnesota using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (BRFSS)
View the report

May 13, 2004
As Uninsured Patients Turn to Emergency Departments for Care of Untreated Illness, Emergency Physicians Call for Coverage for All Americans
A Survey Released by The American College of Emergency Physicians with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, Alexandria, VA
View the report

May 11, 2004
The Cost of Care for the Uninsured: What Do We Spend, Who Pays, and What Would Full Coverage Add to Medical Spending?
Study from the Kaiser Family Foundation examines the cost of medical care for the uninsured and how much care they receive compared to fully insured people.
View the report

May 5, 2004
Covering America: Cost and Coverage Analysis of Ten Proposals to Expand Health Insurance Coverage
A report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
View the report

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