MCH Update 2002: State Health Coverage for Low-Income Pregnant Women, Children, and Parents

Since 1990, the NGA Center has reported on the status of state Medicaid coverage of children and pregnant women and innovative maternal and child health initiatives. This has served as the definitive report documenting changes in Medicaid eligibility to pregnant women, infants, and children across the nation.



Despite the dire fiscal situation faced by states, Medicaid eligibility for both children and pregnant women remained stable, as did State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) eligibility, in October 2002. In a few cases, states expanded SCHIP eligibility to pregnant women. Medicaid births continued to remain steady at about one third of total births. An analysis of 2000 data shows that Medicaid births as a percentage of total births have remained remain steady at approximately 37 percent since 1993. Efforts to streamline the eligibility process to remove administrative barriers to enrollment have also remained consistent since the NGA Center for Best Practices last surveyed the states in 2000. In addition, states are still exploring the options that allow them to expand Medicaid eligibility to parents of Medicaid and SCHIP children.