Low-income children with chronic conditions at risk for significant costs without CHIP renewal

Low-income children with chronic conditions and their families could experience drastic cost increases for health care  as much as $233 to $2,472 in annual expenditures, depending on income levels and individual needs  if the Children’s Health Insurance Program is not renewed and the families are switched to Marketplace health insurance plans.

“Prior evaluations have suggested that Marketplace plans overall offer less generous protections against high out-of-pocket expenses when compared to [Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)] plans,” Alon Peltz, MD, MBA, a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Medicine, and colleagues wrote. “In 2015, the secretary of health and human services, in conducting a statutorily required review of Marketplace plans for children’s coverage, declared that they were not comparable to CHIP plans in providing coverage for children’s services.”

Peltz and colleagues noted that “these limitations … could also be particularly problematic for families of children with certain chronic health conditions who might need specialized services not routinely covered by Marketplace plans as essential health benefits, or who might experience episodic or continuously elevated need for services.

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