Children’s Health Insurance

Federal-state partnerships to provide health insurance coverage for children and youth date back to creation of Medicaid in 1965. The 1997 bipartisan enactment of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provided significant new state options to expand coverage through Medicaid or separate programs meeting federal requirements. The 2009 Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) provides new tools to improve children’s coverage. Over time, states and the nation have made substantial progress in covering children and improving their access to quality health care supporting healthy growth and development.
With ongoing support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, NASHP has supported, analyzed and reported on state efforts to extend children’s coverage since the CHIP program’s inception, building on our longstanding work on Medicaid. Other funders contributing to this work have included the W.K.Kellogg Foundation and the Atlantic Philanthropies. NASHP also is the National Program Office for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Maximizing Enrollment initiative, which aims to increase enrollment of eligible but uninsured children by helping states improve enrollment and retention systems.


NASHP supports active state to state exchange and collaborative learning by regularly convening state officials working to cover children via web, audio and in-person meetings and through mechanisms such as workgroups and electronic discussion forums. We facilitate dialogue between, and serve as an information resource for, state and federal program administrators and policymakers, as well as advocates, researchers and other stakeholders. Through surveys, case studies and other methods, we collect, analyze and report information on the characteristics, challenges and best practices of state children’s coverage programs and initiatives in achieving state and federal goals for improving children’s coverage.



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