KidsWell: Securing Coverage for Children by Advocating for the ACA
The expansion of Medicaid eligibility to low income adults and subsidies to purchase private insurance are arguably the most significant provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). To the extent these measures reduce rates of uninsured parents, they could also help to close the gap in children’s coverage, 7.2 million of whom were uninsured in 2012 (Finegold 2013). States are on the front-line of ACA implementation: their success in enrolling uninsured parents and their children depends on the effectiveness of state policies and systems for operating one-stop shopping portals, conducting outreach to low income families, helping them apply for insurance, and creating consumer-friendly communication about families’ coverage options and their costs. This brief examines how children’s advocates in New Mexico and New York have tried to shape state decisions on ACA implementation policies and their achievements to date.