Child Health Insurance Program running out of money

22 December, 2017, 02:13 | Author: Nina Hammond
  • Graphic CALmatters

Fights over federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program has states trying to figure out how long their programs can hold out without getting more money. More than 100,000 low-income children, young adults, and pregnant women in MI alone could lose their coverage. 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.

Scott's press office has said the Republican governor is in favor of extending the popular children's health insurance program, but Scott has not come out strongly to call on Congress to act.

With no long-term funding agreement imminent, growing numbers of states have begun edging toward depleting their federal funds and commencing steps to cope with that.

A number of states have sent out notices to CHIP recipients warning them funds will run out as early as next month.

The Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, has a big advocate in late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

"I think it will likely be funded but the problem is that this January 1st deadline is looming over us and we're going to have people start losing health insurance very soon". CMS and the states have been scrambling to shift other funds around to keep the program going. And a measure that would reauthorize it for five more years is wrapped up in partisan gridlock in Congress over an end-of-year spending bill.

More news: New Flu Vaccine Guidelines Issued for Patients With Egg Allergy

The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Greg Walden of OR, said last week that the CHIP extension will be included in the short-term government funding bill to be considered by lawmakers later this week.

States are expecting to know the program's fate by Friday. The 17,000 youths in CT would have to find another - more expensive - way to find health insurance if the program vaporizes.

But as Congress rushed Thursday to pass short-term pending legislation preventing a weekend federal shutdown and leave town for the holidays, unsettled disputes over health care, immigration and other issues fell by the wayside for lawmakers to address next year.

The temporary funds would be approved by a continuing resolution bill and the Senate needs to vote on that too.

"Connecticut has been able to continue offering HUSKY B ... by using leftover federal funding".


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