What Do Parents and Guardians Need to Know About CHIP in 2017?

Parents and Guardians Need to Know About CHIP Plans Now.

Children covered by the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) are eligible for 5 essential services, and it may be best to have them as soon as possible. CHIP’s funding was scheduled to end on September 30, 2017.[1] As of late October, it has not been funded for 2018.

This doesn’t mean CHIP won’t be funded again, it only means (although the program expires in 2019 and will need to be reinstated) funding for Children’s Health Services has not yet been renewed.

Although there is little doubt that the Trump administration would leave about 9 million low- and moderate- income children uninsured, nothing is certain (after-all CHIP is part of Medicaid and defunding Medicaid is clearly on the table with the BCRA).

The bottom line here is that a finance hearing that was supposed to have renewed the program was cancelled, and that is cause for alarm.

Since we don’t know if this insurance will continue past the end of September 2017 (specifically that funding will continue, current funds wouldn’t exhausted until about 2018), and since state budgets are already being made, we urge all parents and guardians of children insured under CHIP to make sure that children have whatever covered services they need as soon as they can schedule appointments.

The following essential health services, as defined by the ACA, will be covered at little to no cost under CHIP.

FACTPresident Trump’s 2018 Budget Proposal Reduces Federal Funding for Coverage of Children in Medicaid and CHIP. If Congress does not extend CHIP funding, it is estimated that all states will exhaust their federal CHIP funds during FY2018.

5 Essential Services Covered by CHIP:

  1. Pediatric Physical Exam. This year it is particularly important to make sure your children get their physical exams and any scheduled vaccinations or bloodwork to check for anemia or heavy metal exposure such as lead exposure, if required. Routine physicals are often performed in the summer as many schools and camps require them. Please try not to delay.
  2. Pediatric Dental Exam. This year it is particularly important to make sure that children not only get physical exams, but also have dental exams and take care of any problems discovered. Dental issues such as abscesses need timely care.
  3. Pediatric Vision Exam. Poor vision can make it very hard for a child to manage in school or anywhere else. It’s a good idea to have vision checked from time to time. Children are unlikely to tell you they have trouble because they can’t tell you what they don’t see.
  4. Screening Services. Children are entitled to be screened for low hearing, autism and obesity as well as counseling for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety and substance abuse.
  5. Emergency Services. CHIP covers children’s emergency services. Please do not hesitate to have a child examined in an emergency.

CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) has been one of the most successful parts of the ACA. To learn more about the Medicaid/CHIP program of health insurance for children, please read CHIP.[2]

Article Citations
  1. AS GOP Tarries On Health Bill, Funding for Children’s Health Languishes
  2. CHIP

Author: Linda DeSolla Price

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