DHS Director: Iowa Developing Plans in Case CHIP Funding Runs Out

22 December, 2017, 02:12 | Author: Otis Hoffman
  • Graphic CALmatters

Florida has the fourth highest enrollment of low-income kids in the children's health insurance program called CHIP.

Florida's decision contrasts with other states that have decided that they can no longer wait to see if Congress restores money for the 20-year-old Children's Health Insurance Program, according to Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. The Department of Medical Assistance Services (The Agency that administers CHIP - Called FAMIS in Virginia) sent out letters on Dec 11th to the parents of the 68,500 children now enrolled in CHIP across Virginia ( Including around 10,000 in our 10th Congressional District) that unless Congress acts immediately, coverage could be terminated as temporary funding for the program would run out on 1/31/2018 as the program lapsed on Sept 30th, 2017.

Alabama announced this week that it will stop enrolling children in its CHIP program, titled ALL Kids, on Jan. 1, and will terminate coverage for all children at the end of January if federal funding isn't renewed. "What GOP completely ignores: Extending #CHIP - health care for our children".

Congress owes it to our kids to swiftly and immediately fully fund CHIP before they head home for the holidays.

The commonwealth's CHIP program will be lucky to last until March if federal lawmakers don't act soon. "However, these funds are expected to run out on January 31, 2018", state officials wrote online.

As leading national, state, tribal, and local organizations concerned about the health and well-being of America's children and pregnant women, we are writing to urge you to immediately enact a strong, five-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

"We're just hoping Congress does the right thing and doesn't put politics in front of people's health, in front of children's health, in front of pregnant women's health", said Colorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, a Democrat.

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Rep. England said the state of Alabama doesn't have the money to pay for the program alone. -- would run out at the end of January. CMS and the states have been scrambling to shift other funds around to keep the program going.

There is still a chance that CHIP funding will be reauthorized, but in the meantime, the three-month uncertainty about the program's future is already creating headaches and anxiety. She said officials were "considering all our options" for possibly losing federal funds.

States are expecting to know the program's fate by Friday. The 20-year-old program cost about $15.6 billion in fiscal 2016, funded nearly entirely by the federal government.

Alabama has one of the more generous eligibility ranges for the program.

The Senate Finance Committee easily approved its own five-year measure in October, but that bill lacked offsetting savings to pay for the extra money.

Instead, the short-term bill includes $2.9 billion for states to use for children's health plus authority for federal officials to continue distributing unspent program money to states running short.


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