Day 37 – Medicaid at 50: Medicaid and CHIP cover more than 1/3 of kids.

Over the coming weeks this blog will highlight a key feature of Medicaid and the individual states that administer Medicaid and CHIP leading up to the program’s 50th anniversary (July 30th). Hopefully, you’ll learn some interesting facts about Medicaid and each of the 51 state programs.

Our fact today really speaks for itself: in Federal Fiscal Year 2013, Medicaid and CHIP covered over 45 million children, that is, more than one in three kids in the United States.

Medicaid offers a robust benefits package for children: it includes comprehensive medical and dental coverage, as well as Early, Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment for a wide spectrum of vital development milestones (get excited for more on EPSDT!) Medicaid must cover any medically necessary care a child needs, irrespective of the benefits package ex ante. Even so, the program is still a good bargain: although children comprise about half (48%) of Medicaid beneficiaries, they account for only 21% of program costs. For so many kids, Medicaid is the foundation for a healthy childhood and life course.

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