Man with kids  (Photo: Shutterstock)

As more U.S. children and their families qualify each year for Medicaid, the mechanics of ensuring that their coverage does not lapse have become more complicated. Now, the omnibus spending bill heading toward Congress appears to be taking the lead in keeping that coverage intact from year to year.

The bill – which is expected to pass next year – would require all states to adopt continuous eligibility for children in both Medicaid and CHIP. Under current law, states have the option to provide 12 months of continuous coverage for children in Medicaid and/or separate CHIP. This potential change inspired the Kaiser Family Foundation to review records of states that currently offer continuous coverage for children and those that do not, to see what the lapse, or “churn” rate, was among the two groups five years ago.

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