First Focus on Children submitted the following comment to Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services encouraging them to approve the waiver and allow North Carolina to offer early childhood continuous eligibility through ages 0-5.

Excerpt from the Comment:

North Carolina’s request would extend continuous eligibility to children ages 0-5, meaning that once they are deemed eligible they may remain on Medicaid through age 5. Offering five-year continuous coverage is a reliable way to ensure that children do not experience these lapses and that they remain covered throughout the most important years of their development. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children visit their physicians at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24, and 30 months and then annually to ensure that they are developing properly. Medicaid specifically provides an Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit that allows children to receive age-appropriate screening and treatment as needed. This routine and regular preventative care allows providers to screen for emotional and behavioral delays, vision and hearing abnormalities, proper physical development, and diseases such as cancer. Children with consistent health care coverage are far more likely to receive this routine care.

Read the full comment.