Federal Funds Running Out For Children’s Health Insurance Plans

Federal Funds Have Not Been Approved For Children’s Health Insurance Plans

The GOP has not extended funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Plan because the House, Senate, and President have failed to agree.[1]

CHIP covers 8.9 million children and 370,000 pregnant women in this country and is crucial in providing health care for low-income working families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough for private insurance.

Most of us are doing the best we can to provide for ourselves in this challenging economy. Unfortunately, partisan politics has created so much uncertainty over funding that some states have begun drafting notices to let families know they might lose coverage.

Individual states are trying to keep the program going with state funds, but they need federal funds, and there is no workable budget on the horizon. The first state expected to run out of money and shut down its CHIP program is likely to be Texas where coverage is expected to run out in January for 400,000 children. Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, and Virginia are unlikely to last past February.[2]

FACT: Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah wrote the original version of CHIP in 1997, but has done little to keep it going. Even though CHIP has been a successful core program, all funding is expected to be used up early in FY2018.

What Does CHIP Do?

CHIP covers services that we need keep our nation’s children healthy. If you have a child insured under this program, please get them medical care before the money runs out. If you are a pregnant woman, we urge you to seek prenatal care. To find out if you qualify, see Medicaid and CHIP Income Eligibility Levels as a Percentage of the FPL for Children and Pregnant women by State.[3]

  1. Pediatric Physical Exam. If you haven’t yet done so, please take your children get their physical exams and any scheduled vaccinations or blood work to check for anemia or heavy metal exposure such as lead exposure if needed.
  2. Pediatric Dental Exam. Make sure that children have dental exams and take care of any problems they have. Dental issues such as abscesses need timely care.
  3. Pediatric Vision Exam. Have your children’s vision examined. Children are unlikely to tell you they have trouble because they may not know they could see better than they do. Poor vision can make it difficult for a child to manage in school or anywhere else.
  4. Screening Services. Children can 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.
  6. Pregnant women are covered under CHIP in eighteen states. Pregnant women making under 138% of FPL have been covered under Medicaid since 1989.

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 our page on  CHIP.

Article Citations
  1. House to Vote on Child Health Care, but Funding Will Remain in Limbo
  2. Several States Will Run Out of CHIP Funds By January If Congress Doesn’t Act
  3. Medicaid and CHIP Income Eligibility Levels as a Percentage of the FPL for Children and Pregnant women by State

Author: Linda DeSolla Price

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