Utah advocates for children and low-income residents on Tuesday said that a federal waiver sought by the state that would allow more low-income families into the state's premium subsidy plan will, in effect, push out children now covered by SCHIP, the Salt Lake City Deseret News reports.
Advocates made the statements in written and spoken testimony at a public hearing about the waiver. If the waiver is approved, children whose parents enroll in Utah's Premium Partnership, which helps families pay private insurance premiums, would be denied SCHIP coverage. The waiver also extends the time a family must remain uninsured before enrolling in either plan from 90 days to six months.
Karen Crompton, executive director of Voices for Utah Children, said, "This policy may unfairly shift children from the more efficient, richer public coverage to the less efficient, more expensive and more precarious private market," adding that the change "would represent a retreat from guaranteeing insurance to Utah's children to creating further financial hardship for the state's working families and may ultimately compromise children's health" (Thalman, Salt Lake City Deseret News, 7/30).