Healthcare reform leaves some kids behind

June 1, 2011 at 3:00 PM
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PRINCETON, N.J., June 1 (UPI) -- Twenty million U.S. children who live in complex family arrangements may fall through the cracks under healthcare reform, researchers say.

The report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute say complex family arrangements include situations where family members have different immigration status, children live apart from one parent or families differ in the eligibility for employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid or CHIP, or subsidies offered through a state's health insurance exchange.

However, the report says these issues can be resolved if special attention is taken when writing regulations for the act.

"By design, the Affordable Care Act provides state and federal policy-makers with flexibility to implement the law in ways that effectively and efficiently benefit different groups," Andrew Hyman of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says in a statement.

"Kids are one of those groups and those implementing health reform need to ensure that kids in all different kinds of families benefit from the new law."

The report authors stress it will be important to consider how all aspects of the law will apply to children living in these complex situations, and to think through whether special considerations for them may be warranted as new regulations are developed and implemented.

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