Children's Health

Every child needs access to comprehensive, affordable health coverage and care to survive and thrive. Unmet health and mental health needs can result in children falling behind developmentally and having trouble catching up physically, socially and academically. Poor children and children of color have worse access to health care and face critical health disparities, and as a result lag behind their wealthier and healthier white peers.

This is why we work to ensure all children have access to the affordable health coverage and care they need to reach their full potential. Health coverage helps children stay healthy, and sets them on a path to success.

Since 1999, we have collaborated with partners in the Texas CHIP Coalition and regional coalitions across the state including the Gulf Coast CHIP Coalition, Children’s Health Coalition of the Rio Grande Valley, Equal Voice Network, and RGV Border Health Coalition to champion access to health coverage and care for all Texas children. Our efforts to expand coverage for children, protect and invest in children’s health in the state budget, and improve outreach and enrollment systems for children and families have resulted in more than one million more children gaining health coverage. CDF-TX is working to protect and build upon these gains to ensure that every Texas child has a Healthy Start.

Maximize Enrollment in Children's Coverage

Thanks to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and to new coverage options offered by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more Texas children have access to health coverage than ever before. Nearly half of all children in Texas — more than 3.2 million children — are now covered by Medicaid and CHIP.

Despite those gains, more than 783,000 Texas children remain uninsured, more than in any other state. Providing health coverage for children has numerous benefits in the short- and long-term. Children with health coverage get regular care that can help avoid costly hospitalizations and the long-term health consequences of treatable conditions. Covered children also learn better in school and have higher educational attainment. We work to ensure every child in Texas has access to affordable health coverage.

Enroll Eligible Children in Coverage

Protect Children's Coverage Program

Implement the Affordable Care Act

Texas Well & Healthy Campaign

Texas Well and Healthy is a statewide grassroots campaign to ensure all Texas children and families have access to the health coverage they need. We work in partnership with Cover Texas Now, a coalition dedicated to ensuring every Texan has access to affordable, quality healthcare.

Learn More at Texas Well and Healthy Campaign

Why Coverage for Children is Important

Children with health insurance learn better

Children who newly enroll in a health coverage program have been shown to have a nearly 63% improvement in performance and paying attention in class.

Increased access to Medicaid has a positive impact on educational attainment

A recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) found that increased Medicaid eligibility positively affects educational attainment. A 10 percentage point increase in average Medicaid eligibility for children led to a 5 percent decrease in the high school dropout rate and greater than a 3 percent increase in the four year college attainment rate.

Health coverage can save lives

Uninsured children admitted to the emergency room are 60% more likely to die than children with insurance.

Providing children with health coverage can save Texas money

When Texas stopped requiring children to re-enroll in CHIP and Medicaid every six months, more children stayed enrolled and received better access to primary and preventive care, ultimately saving Texas millions of dollars because children were hospitalized less frequently. And we know that healthy children learn better and achieve more.

Providing coverage to children has long-lasting educational and wage benefits

Adults who received Medicaid as children have significantly higher rates of high school graduation and college attainment, higher wages, and fewer chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension.

Legislative Testimony