[Skip to Navigation]
October 22 2008

Upper Income Limit for SCHIP and Forgone Care Among Uninsured US Children

JAMA. 2008;300(16):1882-1884. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.508

To the Editor: Congress created the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in 1997 to provide public health insurance for families who could not afford private coverage yet earned too much to qualify for Medicaid.1 Although general guidelines for SCHIP eligibility were 100% to 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL), SCHIP gave states flexibility to set income eligibility. Some states exceed 250% FPL while others have proposed limits up to 400%. The SCHIP reauthorization debate in 2007 raised questions about whether to set income limits at, below, or above existing thresholds and particularly whether SCHIP should expand to 400% FPL.2