Children's Health Access Coalition (CHAC)

Children's Health Access Coalition (CHAC)

The Children’s Health Access Coalition (CHAC) is HCFA’s oldest coalition.  Founded in 1995, CHAC works to ensure that every child in Massachusetts has access to age-appropriate, comprehensive, and affordable health services.  

 

MISSION

The Children's Health Access Coalition (CHAC) seeks to improve the health and well-being of children so that they can reach their full potential. CHAC is committed to ensuring that all Massachusetts children have access to and receive comprehensive health services throughout childhood, from prenatal to adolescent and early adult years.
We work to preserve, improve and expand key children's health coverage programs, including Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Children's Medical Security Plan (CMSP). 

VISION

CHAC strives for a health care system that:

  • provides affordable, comprehensive, readily accessible, high quality, coordinated, continuous care for all children;
  • effectively serves children with special health needs;
  • delivers linguistically and culturally appropriate services; and
  • addresses unmet needs.

If you would like to know more about CHAC, please contact Suzanne Curry at scurry@hcfama.org

 

2017-2018 Priority Legislation

An Act Improving the Children's Medical Security Plan and Simplifying the Administration Process (H. 2216/S. 32)
Lead Sponsors: Representative Malia & Senator DiDomenico
Summary: The Children's Medical Security Program (CMSP) provides basic coverage to children who are otherwise ineligible for other public health insurance programs. With strict limits on covered services and coverage amounts, CMSP coverage may not provide sufficient benefits to keep a young person healthy. An Act Improving the Children's Medical Security Plan and Simplifying the Administration Process gives EOHHS the flexibility to address the health needs of children by eliminating service caps, while staying within the program's annual appropriation.

Find the fact sheet here.

An Act to Ensure Continued Health Insurance Coverage for Children (H. 598/S. 647)
Lead Sponsors: Representative Cronin & Senator L'Italien
Summary: The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides comprehensive, affordable health coverage to uninsured children and pregnant women who have lower incomes, but make too much to qualify for Medicaid. Federal funding for CHIP runs out after September 30, 2017, which would cause about 160,000 children and youth and thousands of pregnant women to lose their health insurance. An Act to Ensure Continued Health Insurance Coverage for Children ensures that CHIP enrollees maintain coverage regardless of federal action on the program. 

Find the fact sheet here.

 

FY2018 Budget Priorities

MassHealth Coverage (4000-0430/4000-0500/4000-0700)
MassHealth - the Commonwealth's combined Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) - provides health coverage to over 647,000 children in Massachusetts. Policy and funding changes to the Affordable Care Act could jeopardize health coverage for thousands of children on MassHealth. CHIP funding expires in September, 2017; without re-authorization from Congress, Massachusetts children on CHIP will lose their health coverage.

Request: Maintain current eligibility, benefits and family costs for children on MassHealth.

Children's Medical Security Plan (4000-0990)
CMSP is the ultimate safety net for children in Massachusetts. Strict benefit caps on prescription drug coverage, durable medical equipment, and other benefits limit thousands of children's access to critical care. Governor Baker's House 1 budget reduces CMSP funding by $5 million, down to $12,471,111, booked as potential savings from bringing administration of the program in house.

Request: Re-invest $5 million in savings into improving CMSP benefits for a total line item appropriation of $17,471,111.

Early Intervention (4513-1020)
Massachusetts's Early Intervention Program serves children from birth to three years with developmental delays and disabilities, providing services to over 40,000 children and families. 

Request: Maintain House 1 funding level of $31.1 million for Early Intervention.

Pediatric Palliative Care (4590-1503)
Pediatric Palliative Care programs in Massachusetts offer care to 303 children with life-limiting chronic illnesses and their families. The programs provide services including consultation for pain and symptom management, nursing care, care management, social services, counseling, volunteer support, respite, complimentary therapies, and bereavement services for families. 154 ill children are currently on a wait list for palliative care due to limited funding. 

Request: Increase funding from the proposed $1,806,334 in House 1 to $2,604,578 in order to provide palliative services to all children who need them.
 


Related Resources

Community Catalyst Children's Health Initiative

The Children's Health Initiative is focused on elevating children's health coverage, access and quality issues through strengthening state level coalition work.

Mass Budget’s Children’s Budget

This Children's Budget shows how our state budget affects the lives of children.

Georgetown Center for Children and Families