Non-renewal of federal children’s health program could cost state $40M a year

MONTGOMERY — If funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program isn’t renewed by Congress, it could cost the state $40 million a year.

That’s the estimated cost of the state’s share for nearly 75,000 children on Medicaid, currently being paid for through the federal CHIP program. Funding for it expired in September, and state officials expect reserve funds to run out in February.

Congress late last week did allow for reserve CHIP funds to be doled out to states that were going to run out of money soon, Bloomberg reported. A previous rule required an even distribution of leftover funds to each state. Now, states that are expected to run out of money by the end of the year can get additional funds even if they’ve already received their share of the pot. Six states were going to run out of funds this month, the publication reported. Alabama isn’t one of them.

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