Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) unborn child option

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) unborn child option

States take different approaches to providing health coverage to children of immigrants. Below we provide an overview of these options, and then detail the approach that we are tracking with this indicator, the “unborn child option.” Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) also provide health coverage for immigrants based on what may be matched with federal Medicaid funds. Some states have chosen to use state-only funds to provide health coverage to children or other groups regardless of immigration status and use state funds to pay when a federal match is unavailable. There are two state options to receive federal matching funds for covering immigrant children and pregnant women in Medicaid and CHIP. More than half of states have opted to draw down federal matching funds in Medicaid or CHIP to cover lawfully residing immigrant pregnant women and/or children during their first five years residing in the U.S. States also have an option in CHIP to cover an unborn child once a pregnancy is confirmed through the “unborn child option.” This option extends coverage to undocumented pregnant people by covering their unborn child as a targeted low-income child, who will be covered by Medicaid or CHIP at birth. Health coverage for pregnancies under this option includes prenatal care and labor and delivery services and ends with the birth of the child. The data here reflect rules in effect as of January 2021, as reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Clark, M. (2020). Medicaid and CHIP coverage for pregnant women: Federal requirements, state options. Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, Center for Children and Families.

Brooks, T., Gardner, A., Tolbert, J., Dolan, R. & Pham, O. (2021). Medicaid and CHIP eligibility, enrollment, and cost sharing policies as of January 2021: Findings from a 50-state survey. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Not Ranked
This indicator does not factor into the category's GROW ranking.