WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced legislation to provide 12 months of continuous enrollment for individuals eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Brown’s bill, the Stabilize Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Act, would provide stability in coverage for all Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries by protecting Ohioans from losing their coverage as a result of short-term changes to their incomes. The bill also provides incentives to states to help reduce turnover across Medicaid and CHIP programs.
Each year, millions of Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries who enroll in coverage are at risk of losing that coverage as a result of taking on an extra shift or working overtime, simply because their income fluctuates slightly. As a result, these short-term changes set in motion bureaucratic snafus that cause taxpayers to be disenrolled from their insurance. This breakdown in coverage often disrupts treatment plans and undermines the progress of their care, but can also cause significant administrative challenges that result in higher costs for states, providers, and health plans. Brown’s bill eases that burden by ensuring beneficiaries can depend on their coverage for a continuous 12-month period regardless of their age.
“No Ohioan’s treatment plan or care should be disrupted because they lost coverage as a result of taking on an extra shift or working overtime to make ends meet,” said Brown. “My legislation would modernize the Medicaid program to ensure kids and families retain their coverage even if their income fluctuates slightly from month-to-month.”
The Stabilize Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Act, is also sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Congressman Joe Kennedy III is leading the bipartisan, counterpart legislation in the House. This legislation has been endorsed by America’s Essential Hospitals, the Association for Community Affiliated Plans, the Children’s Hospital Association, and Families USA.
Brown has been fighting to make improvements to Medicaid and CHIP throughout his time in Congress. In 2017, Brown’s legislation to require states to report pediatric quality measures in their Medicaid and CHIP programs passed as part of Brown’s successful push to secure funding for CHIP, extending the program for ten years and protecting the healthcare of more than 209,000 Ohio children, families and pregnant mothers.