SCHIP: A Decade of Optional Dental Coverage for Kids

November 2006

When Congress passed SCHIP in 1997 it was the first substantial expansion of publicly supported health coverage for children since the enactment of Medicaid in 1965. SCHIP provides significant state flexibility, but leaves dental care as an optional benefit, unlike the mandatory benefit that remains in Medicaid’s Early and Periodic Screening Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefits. Because Congress only authorized SCHIP for 10 years, it requires reauthorization in 2007. Congressional leaders will be looking to the successes and failures of SCHIP to identify modifications. In an effort to prepare dental advocates for this process, this brief provides information on SCHIP dental performance to date.  

To read this brief in its entirety, please download the above attached PDF.

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Did you know?

44% }
of U.S. children will have at least one cavity by kindergarten.
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