Congress misses deadline to reauthorize CHIP

Under DSH, states get an annual allotment to help hospitals that provide unreimbursed care to low-income patients that can not be made up through Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP or other health insurance programs.

CHIP offers health care to low income children under the age of 19 and pregnant women. It was due to be renewed by September 30, but congress failed to act. When that date passed without action from either the Senate or the House, the funding expired. Right now, there is broad bipartisan support for the program. Without new funds, the state has few options-e.g., close enrollment or shut down programs until the funding is restored.

"While every program... has an advocate and a desire to accomplish a certain albeit potentially even altruistic or beneficent goal, at some point one realizes that perhaps we can't afford every program", said Biggs, who at the time was running for Congress. The lack of urgency was rationalized by the fact that all states have a positive balance of CHIP money, and most could operate the program past the beginning of 2018.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey said in an email that he is a cosponsor of a bipartisan senate bill to reauthorize CHIP, "and I am hopeful that we can act quickly to pass this important legislation now that we have moved on from Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act".

Florida has positive momentum in its efforts - supported by the federal government - to reduce the number of children not covered by some form of health insurance.

"These are individuals with dependent children, and so they're directly affected by these type of decisions", said Brandon Griffin, development director of Merrick Community Services. As of Sunday, none of Mississippi's elected officials have released public statements on the funding.

The law does allow the use of unspent funds from prior years, so states are now relying on those accounts.

65,000 low income children in Virginia could get cut off from their healthcare if Congress doesn't act soon.

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Thanks to the CHIP program, the rate of children without health insurance dropped to below 7 percent. The CHIP program was enacted in 1997 and provides affordable, high-quality, and consistent health care coverage for children who do not qualify for Medicaid and whose families lack access to affordable employer-based or private insurance.

Chip is funded by state and the federal government. MS is one of those states, and funding for fiscal year 2018 was projected to be $282 million.

About $165 million in CHIP funding was spent on Medicaid recipients a year ago; $198 million was spent on children in All Kids, according to the Medicaid office. As a result, funding is not expected to fully run out until April 2018, according to Mississippi's Division of Medicaid.

So, if Congress doesn't act to re-authorize CHIP funding, the state could be looking at a significant cost shift, and in some instances the state will be required to cover a certain population of children, and we will see an increase in state costs.

Thousands of IL children are in risk of losing health insurance after congress let the Children's Health Insurance Program expire over the weekend.

More children in the state are eligible for early care and learning than now receive it due to limited resources, she says.

"It puts a gap in the state's budget", said Minnesota Department of Health Services Commissioner Emily Piper.

The Washington Post reports that CHIP reauthorization should be taken up today by the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. Luckily, that money won't run out until next year.

  • Adam Floyd