Time is running out for Congress to reauthorize a federal program that helps insure more than nine million children nationwide.
Kelly Haight, spokeswoman for North Carolina's health department, said the state's 220,000 children receiving assistance under the program "will not experience any interruption in benefits at this time" because the state had enough money for the beginning of 2018. CMS officials did not respond to requests made 18 December about when those dollars would run out. More than 100,000 low-income children, young adults, and pregnant women in MI alone could lose their coverage. According to the nonprofit health research organization the Kaiser Family Foundation, CHIP has helped cut the share of uninsured USA children from 14 percent to five percent over two decades. It now has enough money to keep operating through January. She says it made no sense to continue renewing coverage and adding new enrollees in January if CHIP would be ending a month later. Please call Idahos members of Congress and tell to put Idahos children first this Christmas by funding CHIP.
Alabama has one of the more generous eligibility ranges for the program. "The family does not have to make that decision of health care versus the bills and food for the family; Community Health Net will be there".
If CHIP is not renewed, an emergency move will place them on Medicaid, straining Idahos budget and putting funding for education and other state priorities at risk. It is exactly how to pay for the $15.6 billion a year program where the disagreement remains.
But another 3.7 million kids live in states that can simply terminate the policies, and 1.2 million of them could become uninsured if they can't afford alternate coverage, according to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission.
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. "This will really be a huge blow". "This sends a awful message to families ... and I can only hope that this decision [by Alabama] adds to the pressure on Congress to act", he says. And while few think Congress would blunder into letting the money completely lapse - which no lawmaker would care to defend with elections approaching - an effort to provide long-term money collapsed as leaders punted a bunch of unresolved issues until early next year.
"Once we deny kids and disenroll kids, we know so many of them won't be able to get back on", she says.