Affordable Health Coverage for Employees of Small Businesses

Policy Option: Affordable health care coverage for employees of small businesses.

Affordable Prescription Medications Available to Consumers

Prescription drug spending has increased by 138% in the last 11 years. From 1994 to 2005, the average number of retail prescriptions per capita increased from 7.9 to 12.3. Also from 1994 to 2005, the cost of prescriptions increased an average of 8.3% per year, more than triple the average annual inflation rate of 2.5%.

Financial Options for Consumers to Eliminate the Threat of Medical Debt

Recent national research has brought attention to the widespread difficulty Americans have paying their medical bills. The problem of medical debt is of particular concern because the consequences of debt are so serious. Most directly, medical debt and unaffordable medical bills create a significant barrier to accessing care.

Health Care Accessibility to Medicaid

On July 1, 2006, a new federal requirement included in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 requires all U.S. citizens applying for or renewing their Medicaid coverage to provide documentation of their citizenship status. The intent is to assure that those who establish eligibility for Medicaid coverage are citizens or legal residents entitled to Medicaid. Prior to this federal requirement, programs could determine citizenship by allowing applicants to attest to their citizenship in writing.

Health Care Coverage Provided to Children Age 5 and Younger

In 1997 Congress enacted the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to increase health insurance coverage for low-income children. This program gave states money to provide health coverage for these children, who lived in families that earned too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private insurance.