April 10 Federal Update: Medicaid “Unwinding” To Throw Millions Off Insurance
At the beginning of the pandemic, states began receiving substantially more Medicaid funds from the federal government to expand access to necessary healthcare coverage. In exchange, states paused reviews of beneficiaries, a practice that had allowed states to regularly determine whether individuals or families were still eligible. This arrangement led to a 28 percent increase in enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. However, in Dec. Congress voted to allow states to commence eligibility determinations after March 31.
Arkansas, Arizona, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Idaho will begin making eligibility determinations in April, while the rest of states will start this summer. Enrollees will be forced to provide information and documentation, like income and household size, to continue receiving health care benefits. Kaiser believes between 5 million and 14 million people could lose health coverage, while the Department of Health and Human Services estimates up to 15 million could be terminated. Georgetown University Health Policy Institute predicts almost 7 million children and teens could potentially lose coverage.
Social Current will continue to monitor these developments and work with our coalition partners in Washington, D.C., to mitigate the damage of these policy changes.
HUD Announced New Funding for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced $30 million in funding for public housing authorities to address housing instability for youth who have already left or are transitioning out of foster care. The funding is part of HUD’s Foster Youth to Independence Initiative, which provides public housing agencies with funding for housing choice vouchers that can be employed in partnership with local child welfare agencies. The program is geared toward easing the transition to independence and mitigating homelessness among young people, particularly foster care youth. The Biden-Harris Administration, as part of its goal of reducing overall homelessness by 25 percent by 2025, has proposed $9 billion in its FY 2024 budget to create a permanent housing voucher program for youth, ages 18-24, who are transitioning out of foster care.
GAO Publishes Report on CCDF
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report on the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), which is the main federal program that provides subsidies to states to assist low-income families access child care. The report analyzed data from FY 2019, the most recent data available, and found only 2 million out of the 8.7 million children who were eligible for CCDF subsidies participated in the program in an average month. GAO stated the discrepancy is caused by the lack of funding, requiring states to prioritize certain children over others. Also, some families are unfamiliar with the program or dissuaded from applying because of the procedural hurdles. GAO found that even families who did receive subsidies still struggle to afford child care, forcing difficult choices between child care and other priorities, like food.
New Ratings from the Family First Prevention Services Clearinghouse
The Family First Prevention Clearinghouse has posted new ratings for 12 prevention services. Two were found to be “supported,” three “promising,” and seven rated as “does not currently meet criteria.” The programs included mental health, substance abuse, and in-home parent skill-based services. So far, 141 programs and services have been reviewed, and 71 have been rated as promising, supported, or well-supported.
The new ratings are as follows:
- Assertive Community Treatment: “Does not currently meet criteria”
- Common Sense Parenting® – School Age: “Promising”
- Common Sense Parenting® of Toddlers and Preschoolers: “Does not currently meet criteria”
- Foster Kinship Navigator Program: “Promising”
- Functional Family Probation and Parole: “Does not currently meet criteria”
- Group Combined Parent-Child Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: “Does not currently meet criteria”
- Individual Combined Parent-Child Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: “Does not currently meet criteria”
- Multisystemic Therapy – Building Stronger Families: “Supported”
- Promoting First Relationships®: “Supported”
- Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment: “Promising”
- Trauma Systems Therapy: “Does not currently meet criteria”
- Trauma Systems Therapy for Foster Care: “Does not currently meet criteria”
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