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Headed Back to School: A Look at the Ongoing Effects of COVID-19 on Children’s Health and Well-Being

Emerging COVID-19 variants, like the Omicron subvariant BA.5 that has recently caused a surge in cases, may pose new risks to children and create challenges for the back-to-school season.
Children may also continue to face challenges due to the ongoing health, economic, and social consequences of the pandemic. This brief examines how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect children’s physical and mental health, considers what the findings mean for the upcoming back-to-school season, and explores recent policy responses.

A Look at the Economic Effects of the Pandemic for Children

Federal policymakers have taken several actions to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic on families and children by providing state fiscal relief, increased nutrition assistance, Medicaid funding, and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); however, some of this assistance has or will expire. This brief examines hardship across three metrics—difficulty paying for normal household expenses, food sufficiency, and uncertainty in paying for rent or mortgage payments for households with children and by income.

Medicaid Postpartum Coverage Extension Tracker

This page tracks recent state actions to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage, including approved and pending 1115 waivers, legislation that will require the state to seek federal approval through a SPA or 1115 waiver, submitted and approved SPAs, and coverage financed solely with state funds.

Medicaid Enrollment Patterns During the Postpartum Year

A provision in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 gives states a new option to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage to 12 months via a state plan amendment. This new option took effect on April 1, 2022 and is available to states for five years. Using Medicaid claims data from 2018, this brief examines enrollment patterns in the year following childbirth.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.