Del. Legislation Would Ensure Health Insurance For All Children, Sponsors Say

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All children in Delaware would be ensured of health insurance coverage under legislation introduced Tuesday as the Cover All Delaware Children Act.

Sponsors of the bill said the Department of Health and Social Services would be directed to develop and operate a medical coverage program for children who are nototherwise covered, including children who are not documented.

“Many of us take health insurance and its lifesaving benefits for granted, but for thousands of Delaware children, there is no viable option for them to get covered. A simple trip to the doctor for an illness or to get vaccinated is not a financially viable option,” Representative Krista Griffith, D-Fairfax said. “This leads to children not receiving the care they need when it’s necessary, which means longer-term health issues. We owe it to these children – many of whom are in this situation not by their own choice – to help them get the same standard of care so many thousands of other young Delawareans receive.”

According to the sponsors:

Under House Bill 317, which will be filed on Friday, a child resident in Delaware whose family income is low enough that they would qualify on that basis for Medicaid or CHIP coverage, but is not eligible for Medicaid or other federally funded coverage, would be eligible for coverage and medical care under the state-run program.

“As a state of neighbors, Delawareans always rally together to provide live-saving assistance during a crisis, whether it’s the COVID-19 pandemic, the devastating storms that have ravaged our state in recent years, or the fire that recently destroyed an apartment building in Laurel,” State Senator Sarah McBride, D-Claymont said. McBride chairs the Senate Health & Social Services Committee.

“Now, vulnerable children need our help to get the kind of basic coverage that can prevent a health care crisis from which they and their families may never recover. I want to thank Rep. Griffith for stepping up and doing the right thing for vulnerable families and their children.”

The measure would take effect January 1, 2023.