Kentucky Kids Could Lose Health Coverage If Congress Doesn’t Act

Kids enrolled in Kentucky’s Children’s Health Insurance program, known as CHIP, could lose their coverage in March if Congress doesn’t pass a bill to fund the program. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 92,728 Kentucky kids had health insurance through CHIP in 2016.

Kentucky’s version of the program is for uninsured children living with caregivers who make under 200 percent of the poverty limit — that’s $42,400 for a family of four. CHIP provides benefits for kids including dental care, hospital visits and speech therapy.

Congress allocates money for the federal-state program every five years. But on Sept. 30, lawmakers allowed CHIP to expire. Republicans proposed measures to fund CHIP that included cutting the public health fund created by the Affordable Care Act, raising premiums for some Medicare enrollees, and cutting the amount of money the federal government gives to states to pay for CHIP — provisions largely unpopular with Democrats. The measures stalled.

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