KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Despite Recession, Some States Boosting Insurance Coverage

"Despite the economic downturn that's busting state budgets from Sacramento to Tallahassee, 26 states this year made it easier for low-income children, parents or pregnant women to get health coverage, according to a report released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation," Kaiser Health News and The Miami Herald report (KHN is a program of the foundation). "But the gains could be fleeting as most were made possible by new federal stimulus dollars, which run out at the end of 2010, along with a requirement that states maintain Medicaid eligibility levels" (Galewitz, 12/8).

Modern Healthcare: "Forty-seven states currently cover children in families with an annual income at or higher than 200% of the federal poverty level ($36,620 for a family of three), with half (24 states) covering children in families with incomes at or greater than 250% of poverty ($45,775 for a family of three), the commission report stated" (Lubell, 12/8).

Mobile, Ala., Press-Register: The report found that "the percentage of uninsured children in Alabama fell by almost half last year, despite rising unemployment and a slumping economy…. The rate dropped from 7.5 percent in 2007 to 4.4 percent in 2008 as two government programs - Medicaid and All Kids - helped compensate for people losing coverage from employer-provided insurance" (Reilly, 12/9).

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