Ensuring that all children have access to appropriate health care has been a cornerstone of the Foundation’s work on behalf of children for more than two decades. Since the 1997 passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Foundation has joined public, philanthropic, community-based, and private sector partners to work toward the goal of coverage for all children.
As a result, even in the face of steadily increasing health care costs and eroding employer-sponsored coverage—trends which have been exacerbated by the recent economic downturn—the rate of children without health insurance has declined steadily. In 1997, the rate of children without health insurance was 14 percent, but today’s rate of 6.6 percent is an historic low.
Within weeks of his inauguration in 2009, President Obama signed legislation reauthorizing CHIP, strengthening both Medicaid and CHIP, the primary public health insurance programs for children. The CHIP reauthorization legislation and the Affordable Care Act enacted in 2010 also provide more opportunities to continue to make progress toward covering all children.
The Foundation’s Children’s Health Insurance subprogram works in the states and federally to maximize the effectiveness of both public and private insurance programs for children, and to ensure that the country gets to the finish line on kids’ coverage.
The Foundation’s grantmaking strategy, Insuring America’s Children: Getting to the Finish Line, includes support for state-based groups advocating for children’s health insurance efforts in their states, technical assistance for state program directors and policy makers, as well as an evaluation component.
We do not fund the following:
- The delivery of health care services or other direct service programs.
- Efforts to improve children’s health through preventive care, lifestyle changes, or other public health measures.
- Health care quality improvement efforts.
- Efforts to improve the health or health care access of adults, except as these efforts may relate to the health of children in families.
- Basic or applied clinical research.