Part II: Health Insurance For Your Kids
by KYW’s John Ostapkovich
A major part of the recent federal health reform legislation is directed at children, and there are plenty of challenges even so.
Think of CHOP and CHIP as places to start.
CHOP is the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where CEO Dr. Steven Altschuler (right) says that expanded coverage for kids is a good thing – but the law has one big drawback:
“Utilizing Medicaid as a mechanism is a problem for providers. The most specific impact is that we will see more patients, and we’re seeing that trend already. But, at least from government payers, we will see less revenue per patient we treat.”
Medicaid under-reimbursement is a chronic problem which, according to a recent report card on hospital finances, plagues the big teaching hospitals, which see more poor patients.
CHIP is the Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, which has been in business for 18 years in the commonwealth.
Peter Adams, the deputy insurance commissioner for CHIP, says its expansion is also problematic due to stressed budgets:
“To the extent that we can come up with state matching funds, we can add additional children, which is good because, while we’re covering 198,000 children, our survey data indicates there are about 130,000 other children still in Pennsylvania who lack health insurance.”
Reform will allow kids to stay on parents’ policies until age 26. Pennsylvania has a somewhat different law, extending that privilege to age 29.
(Top photo by Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)