CAP Releases Children’s Health Insurance Issue Brief

Expanding access to health insurance for Oklahoma’s children would have significant, far-reaching impacts that benefit all Oklahomans, according to a new issue brief released today by Community Action Project, a Tulsa-area anti-poverty agency that conducts policy analysis on issue affecting low- and moderate-income Oklahomans.

The issue brief cites research that shows that children with health insurance are more likely to receive early, preventive health care, are less likely to visit emergency rooms or be hospitalized, are less likely to be absent from school, and are more likely to perform better academically.

The brief was released in conjunction with a press conference at the State Capitol urging the Legislature to support SB 424, a bi-partisan measure that would extend eligibility for publicly-subsidized health insurance to children in families with income between 185% and 300% of the federal poverty level.

Currently in Oklahoma, about 130,000 children, or 15 per cent, have no health insurance, the 6th highest rate in the nation. The moderate-income households targeted by SB 424 are a “gap population” that often experience the greatest obstacles to obtaining coverage, earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to be offered or be able to afford family coverage through their employers.

Under the SCHIP program, the state would be eligible for an enhanced federal matching rate of $3.48 for every state dollar spent on health care costs for children between 185% and 300% of poverty.

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