Congress Lets Insurance Program for Poor Children Expire, Oklahoma to Lose $49M

Congress Lets Insurance Program for Poor Children Expire, Oklahoma to Lose $49M

Federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health coverage for nearly nine million children, ran out on Saturday night. By 2015, that rate decreased to 4.5 percent.

CHIP is funded jointly between state and federal governments, with states administering the program. Well, it's time to get back on the phone and call our state representatives immediately, because with the lapse in funding state officials are already sending out notices warning CHIP enrollees that their coverage has lapsed.

Utah, meanwhile, is mulling moving CHIP-eligible children to Medicaid or the ACA exchanges if CHIP funding runs out, according to Politico. But in 10 states the federal government covers 100 percent of the funding for the program.

"CHIP is considered an allotment", said Maggie Anderson, the medical services director for the North Dakota dept. of Human Services". We are hopeful that Congress will act, and hopefully act quickly to restore the program's funding.

CHIP is an insurance program established to ensure that lower income families could access quality health care services for their children - even if their own household income wasn't quite low enough for the family itself to enroll in Medicaid. This is especially true for children's hospitals.

In Virginia, children in poor families have access to everything from doctor's visits and immunizations, to diabetes and cancer treatment.

Iowa has sufficient money for the Children's Health Insurance Program to last at least through next March, but an official said Monday that if funding were to be exhausted the state would face "significant policy and fiscal implications". Van Ramshorst said that 70 to 80 percent of UHS' patient population receives either Medicaid or CHIP funding. The Senate had put forth a bipartisan, 5-year bill to renew the program, but didn't schedule a vote in time, instead prioritizing legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Can Congress still reauthorize CHIP?

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Fortunately, Congress appears to be coming to grips with the issue. Ron Wyden of OR, announced an agreement in mid-September to renew CHIP funding.

Lawmakers in the spring reserved $93 million for fiscal 2019, but much of that is spoken for.

The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to mark up its bill in the morning.

"I'm cautiously optimistic", Alker said when asked if she expected a bill to be passed relatively soon.

Like Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program is paid for by a combination of federal and state funds.

It actually took a bit of political gamesmanship to get the program restored over the opposition of GOP leadership and the lack of support from Gov. Doug Ducey. But ultimately, its ongoing health and stability depends entirely on it getting renewed ― according to The New Republic, Minnesota would be out of cash for CHIP by the end of October, and ten other states would run out of funds by the end of 2017.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-OR, announced late last week that the committee will markup a bill to extend federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, community health centers and other health programs next week.

Carlson hopes funding for the program will be resolved within the next couple weeks.