The Countdown has Begun -- #ExtendChip
On October 1, 2015—one year from today—the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will no longer receive funding. Congress must intervene soon to save this CHIP, a program that works for kids and has a long track-record of success and bipartisan support in Congress.
Since its inception in 1997, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has provided affordable insurance for millions of children, cut the percentage of uninsured children in the U.S. by half, and reduced coverage disparities among vulnerable populations across the nation.
At a recent congressional hearing, child health professionals did not mince any words when explaining to Congress how important it is to extend CHIP funding as soon as possible. States have been instructed that they may begin to transition CHIP enrollees into other sources of coverage if federal CHIP funding runs out as scheduled. This means that, starting today, children enrolling in CHIP coverage may be at risk of losing their plans before the end of their first year of coverage.
While at least 30 states guarantee that Medicaid and CHIP enrollees will receive 12-months’ continuous coverage from the day they enroll, it is not clear how these states would continue to fund this coverage without federal support for CHIP. Right now, the federal government supports roughly 70 percent of CHIP costs, with the states funding the other 30 percent. If Congress doesn’t take action to extend federal funding for CHIP soon, this “unknown” may cause states who are working on their budgets for the coming fiscal year to reconsider the number of children they can cover via CHIP.
As Sen. John D. Rockefeller said at the end of the hearing, “We don’t have endless amounts of time. CHIP is something we can do, something we have to do. Think about children and problems they face.”
Make sure your members of Congress know how important CHIP is to you. Visit our Legislative Action Center today and tell Congress to take action right away to extend CHIP.