Congress misses deadline to reauthorize CHIP

Congress misses deadline to reauthorize CHIP

Congress misses deadline to reauthorize CHIP

Among them: the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), created 20 years ago with bipartisan support to help kids from low- and moderate-income families. The program is designed for children whose families make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford paying the premiums and out-of-pocket costs of private or marketplace insurance.

The federal government has funded most of the program, with states contributing a marginal amount. However, according to a state human services spokeswoman, coverage for Pennsylvania's children should be secure until February 2018. Previously, some states closed enrollment in CHIP for limited periods in response to state budget pressures, and studies show that this led to coverage losses, left eligible individuals without access to coverage, and had negative effects on health and family finances.

About $165 million in CHIP funding was spent on Medicaid recipients previous year; $198 million was spent on children in All Kids, according to the Medicaid office. Congress missed the September 30th deadline to re-authorize the funding. It covers everything from dental and eye care to immunizations to emergency visits and more.

"We estimate that we have available CHIP funding at least through December 2017", said Tony Cava, spokesman for California Department of Health Services.

Even without the last-minute infusion of funding from CMS, most of the children covered by CHIP would have continued to receive care under the state's Medicaid program, but Minnesota would get fewer federal dollars for each child, according to Piper's commentary.

MS now has $98.5 million remaining in funds from fiscal year 2017. Now there's a scramble, both in Congress and in the states, over how to maintain the coverage.

Sen. Steve Daines, a Republican, also called the program critical for Montana but was more optimistic about quick action in Congress. In North Carolina, parents with children affected by the enrollment freeze said their children experienced periods of being uninsured and that nearly all needed care during the time that they lacked coverage. For that population the state is likely going to have to pick up the additional cost, to cover those children.

Members of Congress had introduced a bill late this summer to extend CHIP funding for another five years, but it failed to pass by a Saturday deadline.

"The sad part was that we had bills [on CHIP] ready and teed up", a frustrated Dent said Wednesday. Orrin Hatch, and a Democrat, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. "Tens of thousands of Montana families rely on the Children's Health Insurance Program for their children to have health coverage", he said. "This is why for two decadesI have championed this important program and support ongoing efforts to reauthorize it". "Congress needs to act now and do the right thing", Gov. Wolf said.

But as soon as they revived their dream of a health repeal that would gut Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act and score a legislative victory, they rushed out of the room, and abandoned CHIP. The program was predominantly sponsored by the federal government with states reimbursing quite less.

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