CHIP: New Health Coverage Expansion Is Especially Important For Black Children

A list of the benefit coverage is here.

Here’s a summary of the new rule change according to Bloomberg.

  1. The rule will benefit nearly 23 million Medicaid members and 880,000 Children’s Health Insurance Program members in 2016.
  2. The rule requires that each managed care enrollee in a state be provided access to a set of benefits that meets specific parity requirements, regardless of whether the mental health/substance abuse services are provided by the managed care organization or through another service delivery system, such as traditional Medicaid.
  3. Requires a state to disclose the reason for any denial of reimbursement or payment for services with respect to mental health and substance use disorder benefits.

READ: LGBT Youth & Lasting Mental Health Problems

Angela Kimball, National Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said that these new changes will help keep all parties involved in the know about “what’s covered and what’s not.”

“The challenge has been plans, providers, and states all needed additional guidance on how it applies to coverage” for Medicaid and CHIP, Kimball said. “Medicaid serves some of the poorest residents, and not having a parity rule jeopardized their ability to get access to mental health care. [The rule] creates clarity that will help serve the lowest income Americans.”

Why This is Important to Black People

The new expansion of coverage means more things can get paid for. Breathe a sigh of relief, you no longer have to go to the doctor holding your breath saying, “Will this be covered?” The old system was extra stingy when it came to paying for certain mental health and substance issue treatments.

Under this new plan parents will receive more cost-effective treatment that’s on par with higher priced private plans. According to the Washington Post, parents of uninsured children paid an average of $593 per hospital visit and $47 per preventive visit. Three-fourths of the parents interviewed said they delayed health care for their children due to things like finances and lack of awareness of their coverage ending.

Parents looking to see if they’re qualified for Medicaid or CHIP should visit HealthCare.Org to check their eligibility.

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