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Medical News & Perspectives
March 6, 2002

Education Needed to Expand SCHIP Eligibility

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JAMA. 2002;287(9):1101. doi:10.1001/jama.287.9.1101-JMN0306-3-1

Washington—Many families eligible for health care through the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) lose coverage for simple paperwork and administrative reasons, according to a new report from the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP).

Federal SCHIP legislation requires families to prove eligibility annually, based on income cutoffs ranging by state from 100% to 350% of the federal poverty level. Each state's insurance plan varies, as does the paperwork needed to establish continued eligibility. Arizona, for instance, adopted a slogan—"If it's blue, it's time to renew"—to prompt families to look for a simple blue form in the mail, which they sign and return. Other states require detailed forms and proof of income.

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