Background: As the coverage gaps and affordability crisis in our health care system continue to worsen, many states are working to expand health coverage to uninsured residents and to find ways to control health costs. Community Catalyst and Families USA are working with health care advocates in states across the nation to expand access to affordable quality health care to as many citizens as possible. Based upon our collaborative work with advocates in Colorado, we have summarized different state experiences and used it to develop this new online tool to help advocates consider all of the options available.
This guide will help advocates design health coverage expansions that build upon the current system of public programs, employer-sponsored insurance and private market options. Start by laying a strong foundation through Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance (SCHIP) coverage; then by regulating the private insurance market; next by building subsidy programs and pooling mechanisms; by ensuring adequate benefits and access to services; and finally by finding sustainable financing.
The full guide is presented in the right hand column. Click on the links to walk through each step. Under each question, you can link to longer descriptions of the topic and see examples of strategies that other states have used. A comprehensive glossary of terms is also available and linked to throughout the commentary.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or suggestions. We are happy to work with advocates to use this guide.
Community Catalyst Contacts
Michael Miller: email@example.com
Christine Barber: firstname.lastname@example.org
General phone number: 617-338-6035
For website technical questions, please email email@example.com.
Families USA Contacts
Questions for building a state expansion:
- How will this proposal make health coverage affordable for people with low and moderate incomes?
- How will this proposal expand access and increase affordability in the private insurance market?
- How will this plan incorporate comprehensive benefits?
- Who will provide coverage for newly insured populations?
- How will you increase access to health care services and providers?
- How do you propose to fund state expansions?
- How do you propose to improve quality and reduce long term health spending?
1Reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program was underway at the time of writing. As of November 2007, the legislation renames the program the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. Please note that we refer to the program under its previous name (the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP) throughout the document.