States are showing renewed interest in covering uninsured children, with one-third expanding access to Medicaid and the State Childrens Health Insurance Program in 2006, according to a 50-state survey. Seventeen states increased access to health coverage last year, and no state cut income eligibility in Medicaid or SCHIP for the first time in four years, according to the survey, which was prepared by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. With states generally in better financial shape since the fiscal crisis earlier in the decade, many have expressed interest in improving access to their Medicaid and SCHIP programs, the researchers reported. A new requirement that Medicaid recipients show proof of citizenship, however, could hinder expansion efforts. Since the rule was implemented in July 2006, a growing number of states are reporting enrollment declines and large backlogs of applications, the researchers said. Looking ahead, continued efforts to design simple and efficient enrollment systems that are family friendly are pivotal to further progress, they concluded. Read the survey report. -- by Jessica Zigmond
States moving to cover more children
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