Child & Adolescent Health

Children and Adolescents have Distinct Health Needs

The National Health Law Program protects the rights of children and adolescents to receive the health care they need in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Medicaid provides quality coverage for more than 30 million children, including essential medical, vision, hearing and dental screenings and services under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit. EPSDT services are essential to providing children the routine and preventive care they need to grow into healthy adults. We litigate to ensure that eligible children receive the benefits to which they are legally entitled, provides technical assistance to state and local advocates working to implement EPSDT, and analyze policies affecting children’s health.

CHIP provides health coverage to nearly 9 million children from low-income backgrounds and families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid, but who cannot afford private health insurance. CHIP has been essential in reducing the number of uninsured children and adolescents particularly among communities of color. We work with other children’s health advocates at the federal and state levels to ensure that CHIP outreach, enrollment, and services continue to meet the needs of children from low-income backgrounds.

Children and adolescents benefit from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) numerous consumer protections and coverage expansions from protections against denials of coverage for pre-existing conditions to improved access for preventive services. We provide technical assistance to state and local advocates working to implement the ACA, analyze federal and state policies pursuant to the ACA that affect children’s health, and litigate to ensure that eligible children receive the ACA protections to which they are legally entitled.

Child & Adolescent Health Resources

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