Mass. officials worry Children's Health Insurance Program funds at risk

BOSTON — Health care industry insiders, including Gov. Charlie Baker and elected officials on Beacon Hill, are beginning to fret over the future of a program that provides insurance coverage to about a quarter of children in Massachusetts, mostly on the federal government's dime.

"Developments over the next several months could have strong repercussions for Massachusetts children," the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute, a program of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, wrote in June in a 14-page report on the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), concluding Massachusetts and other states would exhaust their current CHIP allocations by March 2018 unless Congress took action.

Congress is beginning to explore the issue but has not taken action, and federal authorization for the 20-year-old program expired Sept. 30. Last week, Gov. Baker outlined his views on the evolving situation in a letter to members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation.

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