Health Coverage for Low-Income Populations: A Comparison of Medicaid and SCHIP

Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) are often compared because they both serve low-income populations. However, the populations served, the coverage offered and the structure of these programs have differed in important ways. With the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, states can now apply some SCHIP-like principles to the Medicaid program. Moreover, SCHIP is due for reauthorization by Congress after fiscal year 2007.

This issue brief examines the similarities and difference between Medicaid and SCHIP as well as the implications of applying some SCHIP design features to the Medicaid program.

Issue Brief (.pdf)