Access for the Uninsured
Nearly 50 million Americans lack any form of health insurance, impairing their ability to access the care they need. For more than 25 years state governments have experimented with a wide variety of initiatives to expand access to health care for the uninsured, while continually battling the rise of health care costs. State reforms have helped hold the line on even greater growth in the numbers of the uninsured and have laid the groundwork for further improvements in the system. But the challenge of improving access to coverage while keeping costs affordable remains.
In their roles as regulators, purchasers, and providers, states have:
• created state-funded programs;
• expanded and restructured Medicaid;
• reformed the individual and small group insurance markets;
• established purchasing alliances, high-risk pools, and indigent care programs; and
• designed children’s health coverage programs.
NASHP’s work in this area aims to help states work together to learn strategies for covering the uninsured; and also aims to educate federal officials about what states can do alone and where they need more federal help. NASHP has released numerous reports on this issue, in addition to holding webcasts and many sessions at our annual conference.