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Medicaid Provides the Health Benefits Children Need

The roots of Medicaid's comprehensive benefit package for children stem from the findings of a government study, One Third of a Nation: A Report on Young Men Unqualified for Military Service. The study investigated the reasons leading to a 50 percent rejection rate among young men drafted into the military in 1962. It found extensive evidence of a wide range of health conditions that could have been successfully treated during childhood. Today, Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT), Medicaid's comprehensive benefit package for children up to age 21 is considered a model for pediatric coverage. It emphasizes prevention and early intervention, and EPSDT's affirmative commitment to connect children with necessary treatment is unique. States often base their "periodicity schedules" on the American Academy of Pediatrics "Bright Futures: Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care" which are considered the highest professional standards. The goal of EPSDT is to ensure children get the right care at the right time in the right setting. Learn more about EPSDT.

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