Celebrate CHIPRA Anniversary, Urge Renewal
Today marks the fifth anniversary of the enactment of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA). It’s an occasion worth celebrating—health care coverage provisions in CHIPRA are among the primary reasons the uninsured rate for children has reached a historic low.
CHIP is important to families because it promotes access to care. CHIP offers important cost sharing protections for families and provides access to vital services, such as important therapies, and medical equipment and devices to meet the changing developmental needs of children.
CHIPRA refined and expanded the original CHIP program, launched in 1997. Most of the refinements centered on providing flexibility and incentives for states to continue to expand enrollment of eligible children.
Keep kids covered
The anniversary of CHIPRA is not just a time for celebrating success; it’s also a time to look to the future. Children’s hospitals around the country are launching efforts to extend and further improve this vital coverage for children. Unless Congress intervenes and renews the CHIP program, it will expire next year. At the time the program is set to expire, the Congressional Budget Office estimates CHIP will serve almost 13 million children.
Federal funding for CHIP is set to expire at the end of fiscal year 2015. CHIP coverage is co-funded by state and federal governments, with the federal government paying the vast majority of costs. However, since it’s a shared program, it still requires state involvement and state funding to remain intact. Because of the lead time for state budget cycles, state officials are beginning to plan into 2015 and need a clear signal now from Congress that federal funding for this critical, popular program is here to stay.
One of the ways you can be involved in helping renew CHIP is to Speak Now by becoming an advocate and sharing your stories, especially if you or someone you know has directly benefitted from the CHIP program. You can also read more about CHIP and how it impacts health care for children. Or you can visit our Facebook page and leave your story about how important CHIP has been to your or participate in making the hashtag #celebrateCHIP a trend throughout today on Twitter.