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Health Care Coverage is an Essential Part of Learning

Parents share the same aspiration for their children – wanting them to do well. They want them to grow to be economically independent, achieve their career dreams, and develop healthy habits that last into adulthood. Their education – and how well they do in school – is fundamental to their success. But to learn effectively, a child’s health is key.

There is a strong connection between academic performance and a student’s health. Children who don’t have good medical care are often misdiagnosed with learning disabilities due to vision problems, in some instances nearly three times more likely to miss school due to dental pain1, and overall affected by a lack of preventive care. For uninsured kids in families with limited incomes, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offer eligible children and teens up to age 19 access to immunizations, regular check-ups, eye exams, dental visits, mental health services, prescriptions, and other care that improves their ability to fully participate in classroom and after-school activities.

The benefits go well beyond this school year: as they grow up, covered children are more likely to stay in school, graduate from college, and ultimately have higher incomes than those without health insurance.

Health coverage for kids benefits everyone. Studies have shown that children with health coverage are less likely to miss school due to illness and are better prepared to learn, meaning fewer missed days of work for parents. Medicaid and CHIP provide free or low-cost health coverage to nearly four in ten eligible children nationwide.2

In most states, eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP is based on family income up to $49,200, but varies by state and in many states family income can be even higher and children can still qualify. To get more information about Medicaid and CHIP in your state, call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669) or visit Find Coverage for Your Family on InsureKidsNow.gov  to select your state and connect directly to links to your local program.

Parents want the best for their kids. With health coverage, you can ensure your children are better equipped to learn so they realize their full academic potential by staying healthy throughout the year. If already enrolled in one of these programs, don’t forget to renew your child’s coverage every year so that he or she is covered and can get the care he or she needs.

  • 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21330579 
  • 2. http://kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/childrens-health-coverage-the-role-of-medicaid-and-chip-and-issues-for-the-future/
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Messages from CMCS
Author
Deirdre S. Gifford, MD MPH, CMS Deputy Director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services
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