HHS Announces New Federal 12-Month Continuous Eligibility Expansion

Effective January 1, 2024, most children under the age of 19 who meet their state’s Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility requirements will remain continuously eligible (CE) for coverage for a full 12-month period. This issue brief estimates that the number of children eligible for Medicaid and CHIP will increase by 3.5 percent in states that previously had partial or no CE policies for children as of January 2023. This increase in average monthly eligibility is driven by an estimated 1.3 million children becoming eligible for at least one additional month of Medicaid or CHIP coverage. Ultimately, the impact of any federal 12-month CE policy is dependent on state enrollment of Medicaid- and CHIP-eligible children, as only enrolled children can benefit from CE expansion.  Medicaid and CHIP are important sources of coverage for rural children. As of 2020-2021, Medicaid/CHIP provided coverage for a larger share of both adults and children in small towns and rural areas than in metropolitan counties nationwide.

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