Coverage of the TANF Population Under Medicaid and SCHIP

RS22035 -- Coverage of the TANF Population Under Medicaid and SCHIP

Updated March 8, 2006


Health insurance is an important support for individuals receiving, leaving or diverted from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare or cash assistance program for low-income families. Medicaid and SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) are key vehicles for providing such coverage. While there is no formal link between TANF and either Medicaid or SCHIP, some TANF-eligibles, especially children, are likely to qualify for one of these programs. But state eligibility rules can be complex and often differ for parents versus children, leaving some parents, in particular, without coverage. Finally, six to 12 months of transitional medical assistance (TMA) for families losing Medicaid coverage for work-related reasons expired on December 31, 2005, but was reinstated retroactively to this date, and extended through 2006 under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171).