An Act to Ensure Equitable Health Coverage for Children (H. 162/S. 677, Rep. D. Rogers & Sen. DiDomenico)
Although 98% of the Commonwealth’s children have some form of health insurance, thousands of low-income children can access only minimal coverage with strict limits on covered benefits, leaving them without all the care they need. This legislation will expand comprehensive MassHealth coverage to children who would meet all eligibility criteria for MassHealth except for their immigration status. Several other states have enacted this policy, including California, New York, Illinois, Washington, Oregon and Washington D.C.
An Act Ensuring Continuous Healthcare Coverage for Youth Who Have Aged-Out of the Department of Children and Families (H. 124/S. 35, Rep. Gregoire & Sen. DiDomenico)
Due to the transient nature of former foster youth and associated administrative barriers, a number of former foster youth lose MassHealth coverage, although still eligible. This bill will codify the provision in the Affordable Care Act that allows youth who have aged out of foster care through the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to receive MassHealth benefits until they turn 26, comparable to allowing children to remain enrolled in their parent’s health plan until age 26. In addition, this legislation requires MassHealth to automatically re-enroll former foster youth annually until they are no longer eligible.
An Act Relative to Children with Medical Complexity (H. 1141/S. 680, Rep. Cronin & Sen. DiDomenico)
Children with medical complexity (CMC) are one of the smallest, yet fastest growing populations of children. Innovations in health care and technology ensure that the population of CMC in the Commonwealth will continue to increase, as children are now surviving previously fatal conditions. This bill would require the Health Policy Commission to conduct a comprehensive statewide study of children with medical complexity and provide valuable data on this special population, which can help inform future policy decisions.
An Act Regarding the Pediatric Palliative Care Program (H. 1982/S. 1238, Rep. O’Day & Sen. DiDomenico)
Pediatric Palliative Care Programs currently provide vital services to 445 ill children and their families, including consultation for pain and symptom management, nursing care, case management, social services, counseling, volunteer support, respite, complimentary therapies and bereavement services for families. However, lack of adequate and consistent levels of funding often leave children and families without the services they need. New referrals outpace providers’ ability to take on new cases; as of February 2019, the wait list is 118 children. This legislation would ensure that all eligible children and their families can access palliative care services.
FY2020 BUDGET PRIORITIES
Children’s Medical Security Plan (4000-0990): The Commonwealth has made noteworthy efforts to ensure that all children have access to affordable health coverage. CHAC requests funding of $14,700,000 for CMSP, which is responsive to expected enrollment.
Early Intervention (4513-1020): Early Intervention (EI) is the Commonwealth’s most cost-effective program dedicated to serving children from birth to three years who have, or are at risk of, developmental delays and disabilities. CHAC requests funding of $30,825,436 for Early Intervention services.
Pediatric Palliative Care (4590-1503): Pediatric Palliative Care Programs currently provide invaluable services to 445 ill children and their families. CHAC requests funding of $4.8 million for Pediatric Palliative Care Programs in the FY2020 budget.
The Children's Health Initiative is focused on elevating children's health coverage, access and quality issues through strengthening state level coalition work.
This Children's Budget shows how our state budget affects the lives of children.
The Center for Children & Families (CCF) of the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan policy & research center dedicated to expanding & improving.