Too Many Uninsured children In South Carolina
Every Child Deserves Quality Healthcare
At Health Fund for Children (HF4C), we are continuing our mission despite nothing changing in the last year. Disappointedly, there are still many uninsured children in South Carolina.
There are 2 public health insurance options for SC children, Medicaid & CHIP. Both require income & citizenship eligibility. As of March 2022, 729,620 children in SC are enrolled in Medicaid, while 108,789 are enrolled in CHIP. CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) is an option for families who earn too much to get Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance.
Source: Medicaid.gov, Number of Children Ever Enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP
Two main reasons why SC uninsured rates have remained unchanged for children
Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to be strongly rejected in SC. Consequently, about 105,000 people in SC are uninsured and considered to be in the “coverage gap”. These 105,000 people include children and are the state’s poorest, with incomes under the poverty level. They do not qualify for subsidies in the Health Insurance Marketplace, and they also do not qualify for Medicaid or CHIP. In many cases, they rely on emergency rooms and community health clinics.
Non-citizen children who reside in South Carolina without authorized documents are estimated to be around 8,000 per the MPI. Neither Medicaid or CHIP are options for non-citizen children whose family income is at or below the federal poverty level. Instead, these children rely on free community clinics offering primary and preventive care. If they need further medical attention beyond primary/preventive services, they have very limited resources and are billed directly for medical expenses.
Source: Migration Policy Institute, 2022 at https://www.migrationpolicy.org/
In the past year HF4C has assisted children who are uninsured non-citizens, including two children with Down Syndrome who need care beyond primary/preventive services. Children with Down Syndrome can have a multitude of needs, including cardiac, endocrine, dental, and therapies, such as PT and OT.
HF4C continues its mission to provide children with the health care they need regardless of being uninsured or underinsured. As the Children’s Health Report Card from 2022 states, when children get the health coverage they need, they are more likely to succeed in school, graduate from high school and attend college, earn higher wages, and grow up into healthy adults. Every child deserves a chance!
Quality health care supports a child’s physical, emotional, and cognitive development, & aids in their ability to reach full potential. Health Fund for Children will financially assist children to receive much-needed health care.