CCF Releases First in Series of Briefs on the Future of Children’s Health Coverage

Having concrete policy ideas may not be in vogue on the campaign trail, but here at CCF we are grateful to have the opportunity and challenge to think deeply about the future of health coverage for children and families. Today we are launching a new series of reports and briefs on the future of children’s coverage.

Our first report in the series is called “Children in the Marketplace” and looks at how marketplaces are meeting children’s needs (or not) and suggests improvements. Our next brief, which is being written with the Children’s Dental Health Project, will focus on rethinking pediatric dental coverage.

Children currently constitute less than 10% of Marketplace enrollees. But that means that the Marketplace is the source of coverage for one million children. And as regular readers of SayAhhh! know, a central question about the future of CHIP is whether those kids would be better off in CHIP or in the Marketplace.

The report examines three areas – adequacy of coverage, affordability of coverage, and access to providers – and concludes with a summary of policy options that would strengthen Marketplace coverage for children. Tomorrow my colleagues Kelly Whitener and Sean Miskell will blog about the key findings of the report so stay tuned!

And stay tuned for more papers on the future of children’s health coverage. I am excited about this series as it gives us a chance to think outside-of-the-box and envision positive change for children. The Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and CHIP have brought the number of uninsured children to historic lows. But there is still more work to be done for families – building on a significant body of achievements in recent years. That is what our series seeks to explore.

Joan Alker is the Executive Director of the Center for Children and Families and a Research Professor at the Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy.