First Focus on Children submitted the following comment to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to strongly support New Mexico’s proposals to provide continuous eligibility for children through age 5 and the expansion of the Centennial Home Visiting (CHV) program.

Excerpt from the Comment:

Continuous eligibility through age 5 reduces “churn” in and out of Medicaid/CHIP coverage. A child who churns from Medicaid/CHIP will experience gaps in both coverage and access to care that can be detrimental to their development; even short gaps in coverage can harm a child by reducing their access to necessary care.5 If a coverage gap is prolonged, families may face expensive medical bills or may push off their child’s care due to high out-of-pockets costs. Maintaining Medicaid/CHIP coverage through age 5 provides children with a long-term medical “home,” where care is coordinated, efficient, and consistent.6 Early childhood continuous eligibility will also ensure children have access to the same provider networks and benefits.7 Churning from Medicaid/CHIP coverage to private coverage due to income changes forces families to search for new providers and navigate new costsharing rules, burdening families and complicating a child’s access to necessary care.

Read the full comment.