For children to have the healthiest start possible, they need to be insured as early as possible. By age 3, children should have 12 well-child visits according to the schedule set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
These regular, preventive visits to the doctor or pediatrician are important for tracking a child’s growth and development, providing immunizations, and identifying and addressing delays or concerns.
Yet, in Pennsylvania, there are still more than 18,000 children under the age of 3 who lack insurance coverage, which is the 4th highest in the country.
This means our youngest children are not receiving important health care in those early years when their brains are growing most rapidly, putting their healthy development at risk.
- Educate families about free or low-cost, affordable options for health insurance through Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the state-based marketplace Pennie™.
- Encourage policymakers to provide health care coverage for kids regardless of their citizenship or enacting what’s known as the “Dream Care” initiative. Legislation is needed to eliminate the coverage restriction for noncitizen children who call the state home.
- Expand CHIP coverage for pregnant women and birthing individuals for Medicaid due to their immigration status through state administrative action. Federal regulations permit states to consider a fetus a “targeted low-income child” for purposes of CHIP coverage in order to provide health insurance to pregnant women and birthing individuals not eligible for Medicaid because of their immigration status.