Many Employed Parents Forced To Enroll Their Children in Medicaid or CHIP

The increasing out-of-pocket costs for working parents gives them little choice but to try to obtain coverage by other means.

And this problem exists even for parents who work for large corporations. Writing in the Hill, David Rubin, MD, a primary care pediatrician and the director of Population Health Innovation at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, talks about what he and his team of researchers found in a study published recently in Health Affairs.

“A parent is now contributing on average nearly $7,500 annually towards family premiums and deductibles for their employer-sponsored plans,” writes Rubin. “For a family that makes between $20,000 and $40,000 a year, as an example, these costs are prohibitive.”

So, an increasing number of employed parents enroll their children in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Rubin’s happy that the safety net is being used, but also worries that it might be taken away because some lawmakers may see it as an abuse of the federal programs. In fact, he already sees evidence of this. He writes that “about 828,000 fewer children were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP at the end of 2018 than in 2017. Our Health Affairs data tells us that most of these children are likely from working families.”

It comes down to children being “caught in the middle of a debate in which nobody is acknowledging how unaffordable dependent health care is becoming for working families.”