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Report Finds States Expanding Health Care Coverage

By CQ Staff

October 4, 2006 -- Many states have begun to increase the number of people covered by Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), according to a new report from the National Governors Association (NGA).

The report, released Tuesday by NGA's Center for Best Practices, found that states expanded eligibility levels and enrollment policies for low-income women and children. In addition, 10 states were able to achieve modest expansions and policy advances in continuous eligibility and other practices to maintain coverage for those enrolled in Medicaid, the report found.

"As state budgets emerge from the tight fiscal pressures of recent years, policymakers have developed increasingly innovative methods to provide health insurance for this population," Center for Best Practices Director John Thomasian said in a statement.

Medicaid is the single largest health insurance program in the United States, and combined with SCHIP, Medicaid serves more than 54 million Americans each year, according to the NGA.

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