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Dream Care – Cover All Kids Supporters

Important Articles Pages



Dream Care – Cover All Kids Supporters

Ian Kreher

PCCY is pleased to share its newest report - “Fulfilling Pennsylvania’s Promise to Cover All Kids – Closing the Health Insurance Gap for Children” – that makes the case for expanding CHIP coverage to children who are undocumented. 

Check out PCCY’s latest report, “Fulfilling Pennsylvania’s Promise to Cover All Kids.”  PCCY found that a heartbreaking 8 in 10 parents had to delay or forgo care for their child due to a lack of insurance.

An estimated 24,000 Pennsylvania children are undocumented and uninsured, and they do not qualify for CHIP, Medicaid or ACA Marketplace coverage.  Pennsylvania’s ‘Cover All Kids’ does not cover all kids.

Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) interviewed 53 parents in southeast Pennsylvania with children who are undocumented and uninsured and found that more than 8 out of 10 parents said they had to delay or forego care for their child due to lack of insurance.  Among these families we found:

  • 100% of parents did not seek care for their child because they could not afford it
  • 91% of children received delayed care or no care for a serious medical need requiring the expertise of a specialist
  • 67% of parents reported their child was harmed by delaying or foregoing care
  • 42% of parents reported that delaying or foregoing care negatively affected their children at school causing absences, lower grades and behavioral problems
  •  28% of children required emergency room care because a neglected health problem worsened

These findings are consistent with years of academic research that shows uninsured children have worse health and life outcomes than insured children – and they cost the system more on average.  CHIP costs an average of $2,500 per child per year – almost half the $4,600 that a leading Pennsylvania pediatric hospital spent per child in the last fiscal year in uncompensated care.   

Pennsylvania is losing its national standing for children. Pennsylvania is the birthplace of the federal CHIP program.  Five states – California (36 counties), Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Washington and the District of Columbia – have adopted reforms to make at least 202,000 undocumented immigrant children eligible for public health insurance.

Pennsylvania can afford to expand CHIP coverage.  Based on the experience of other states, PCCY estimates that the cost for the first full year to operate expanded coverage would be $15.4 million.  This amount is equivalent to 10% of the state FY2014 CHIP budget.

It’s time to realize the true meaning of the state’s ‘Cover All Kids’ program and qualify every child for coverage.