SCHIP enrollment increased 15 percent to 5.3 million children in 2002 - Newsletter

Author: Matthew Neff
Date: March 1, 2003

According to statistics from the HHS' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, approximately 5.3 million children were enrolled in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) at some point during the fiscal year 2002, which was a 15 percent increase from the 4.6 million children who were enrolled at some point during the fiscal year 2001. The SCHIP program was created in 1997 to improve children's access to health insurance, many of whom came from working families with income too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to afford private health insurance. The SCHIP law appropriated $40 billion in federal funds over 10 years. Since January 2001, HHS has approved more than 2,500 SCHIP and Medicaid waivers and plan amendments that have expanded eligibility to about 2.4 million people and enhanced benefits for about 6.5 million people. The original SCHIP law required states to return any unused funds from the previous three years. However, President Bush's fiscal year 2004 budget makes an estimated $830 million in unused SCHIP funds available to states to give them more time to take advantage of these funds. For a listing of SCHIP enrollment by state, go online to

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