Congress to Address CHIP Funding Wednesday

Nov 8, 2017

Congress let the funding expire with unsuccessful efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This could be catastrophic for many families, as CHIP has managed to nearly eliminate the possibility of children going without health insurance – an fantastic feat in the U.S. For that population the state is likely going to have to pick up the additional cost, to cover those children. The program was predominantly sponsored by the federal government with states reimbursing quite less. Maryland, which has about 140,000 CHIP enrollees, has enough money to last through March, state officials estimate.

Alker said “to get CHIP done quickly, which needs to happen, [Congress] needs bipartisan agreement”. That’s 70 percent of all the federal money that goes to community health centers, and about 20 percent of the total annual funding they receive.

Here’s a quick look at what may lie ahead for the program. The state is already preparing to send out termination notices for coverage. Congress missed the September 30th deadline to re-authorize the funding.

In the interim, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid reportedly have enough unspent dollars from the fiscal year just ending to hold KidsCare through this month and into November, she said.

However, Minnesota was among those most imperiled because it had spent all its funds. Qualifying families pay premiums ranging from $52 to $104 per child per year, depending on income and co-pays.

Alabama’s All Kids program was the first state CHIP program in the country. Now, the funding for the program has expired, which could harm the health of American families. About 19,000 children are in the state’s CHIP program, state officials say.

That change alone, he said, would boost state spending by $10 to $15 million. If that match drops, the state would have to freeze CHIP enrollment, per state legislation. But, so far, it’s continuing business as usual.

“States don’t want to have to disenroll their kids”, said Maureen Hensley-Quinn, senior program director at National Academy for State Health Policy, a non-partisan group that advises states on health policy.

We believe that most lawmakers understand the value of this program. Locally, the program is called the Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa program, or HAWK-I.

Covering the budget shortfall entirely through provider rate cuts would mean about a 14 percent cut.

CHIP, as the program is commonly known, is a genuine success story. On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee is holding a markup of the Keeping Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act, which has bipartisan support. The influx should allow the program to continue for a few more weeks, Piper said. States have the option to cover pregnant women, and 18 plus the District of Columbia do so. And yet, the program is set to expire on Saturday, and there’s no indication the Republican-led Senate will get the votes together in time to extend it. The number of children determined eligible for CHIP but placed on a waiting list grew to over 34,000.

Until reauthorization is approved by Congress, Minnesota taxpayers will be paying more of the bill for CHIP. “Good health is key to young kids becoming thriving, successful adults”, he adds.

Congress to Address CHIP Funding Wednesday


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