Brian Rosman, research director for the Hub nonprofit Health Care For All, said if the money runs out, "Some kids would move onto MassHealth coverage, but the state would get much less money, so the state would have to use Medicaid funds". Maybe, with the tax-cut bill expected to pass Congress this week, senators and representatives will be able to handle this nagging CHIP business before they blow out of town on their Christmas recess.
Two programs that benefit low-income adults and childen are awaiting funding renewal from Congress.
The Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, is a 20-year-old federal program meant to aid children whose families are not so needy that they would qualify for Medicaid assistance, but who are also unable to pay for health coverage on their own. "From the citizen perspective, they're not losing coverage and we're doing everything we can to maintain their coverage as long as possible".
In Indiana, more than 100,000 children are covered by the program.
Discussions about funding seem to center on whether funds for CHIP should be taken out of other areas in the budget and whether funding should be allocated for several years or one year at a time.
Casey says the money for this program - which covers nine million American kids nationwide - is there, so it's just a matter of renewing the federal program. California, with 15 percent of the CHIP recipients, has said it will exhaust its funds by the end of December.
The program, enacted in 1997, has enjoyed bipartisan support.
The move aims to expand access to healthcare coverage to the roughly 800,000 Floridians who now fall into the 'coverage gap.' That mean they earn too little to qualify for a subsidy on plans offered through the federal health insurance marketplace, but earn too much to be considered eligible for Medicaid. Pennsylvania's CHIP program depends on federal funding and it is at risk without Congress doing its job. "I am confident that the state will receive sufficient federal funding to continue the program through February 2018".
"Effective January 1, 2018, ALL Kids will no longer enroll children", according to a notice posted on the state's public health website.
For the past couple of months, Wolf has pushed for the federal government to reauthorize CHIP. We need to reauthorize this important program quickly to provide certainty for families across West Virginia.
But she is anxious about the prospect of families losing health coverage for their children, recalling instances where families have delayed care for urgent health needs because they lacked coverage.