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Policy Group Urges Increase In CHIP Cut-Off Age

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One way to decrease the number of uninsured U.S. residents might be to let young adults stay in the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Health policy analysts at the Commonwealth Fund, N.Y., have included that proposal in a discussion of efforts to let young adults stay on their parents’ health plans past the typical cut-off age of 18 or 19.

Young adults account for about 17% of all U.S. residents under age 65, but 30% of uninsured residents under age 65, the Commonwealth Fund analysts write.

Medicaid and most state CHIP plans cut off coverage for young adults at age 19, but many young adults have incomes low enough to meet the CHIP income eligibility requirements, the analysts write.

More than 40% of uninsured young adults ages 19 to 29 are in families below the poverty level, and 72% have incomes below 200% of the poverty level, the researchers report.

The CHIP reauthorization bill that recently passed in the House included a provision that would allow states to increase access to CHIP plans and dependent Medicaid coverage up to age 25, the researchers write.


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