States have the option to provide children with 12 months of continuous coverage through Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), even if the family experiences a change in income during the year. Continuous eligibility is a valuable tool that helps states ensure that children stay enrolled in the health coverage for which they are eligible and have consistent access to needed health care services.
Why Implement Continuous Eligibility?
Children who have health insurance continuously throughout the year are more likely to be in better health. Guaranteeing ongoing coverage ensures that children can receive appropriate preventive and primary care as well as treatment for any health issues that arise. Stable coverage also enables doctors to develop relationships with children and their parents and to track their health and development. Additionally, eliminating the cycling on and off of coverage during the year reduces state time and money wasted on unnecessary paperwork and preventable care needs.
States Providing Continuous Eligibility
The following States provide 12-month continuous eligibility for Medicaid and/or CHIP; the exceptions are specified.
- Some states include exceptions to their continuous eligibility period and may also limit it to a subgroup of their CHIP eligible population.