Child Health Benefits Packages: Lessons from Minnesota for State Children's Health Insurance Programs

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Abstract

The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) provides state maternal and child health (MCH) programs an opportunity to assure comprehensive health services are available to children through the selection of an appropriate benefits package. Minnesota had this chance in 1994 when the state was considering development of a universal standard benefits set. While the Minnesota MCH program was not at the policy table, they worked through a process that increased their influence on decisions by responding to a legislative call for a definition of “appropriate and necessary” care. This definition was ultimately adopted by policymakers in creating the recommended Universal Standard Benefits Set. This experience may provide an important incentive to other state MCH programs seeking opportunities to participate in the development of state SCHIP plans.

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