Parents to Congress: My child depends on CHIP for health insurance

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Hazel Hoffman is only five years old, but her medical bills are already through the roof. The little girl suffers from a form of epilepsy that has sent her to the hospital multiple times with severe seizures. Her medications alone cost more than $1,500 a month.

Hazel's mother, Rachael, can only afford the care her daughter needs because she is in the Children's Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP. It picks up the entire cost of Hazel's medications, hospitalizations and lab work with no monthly premium. Hoffman, a receptionist at a preschool, would have to pay $500 a month for her employer's plan, which would only cover half of the cost, leaving them "absolutely no money" for food or basic necessities.

Hoffman, however, is terrified that Hazel may lose this vital coverage. Funding for the federal program ran out on Sept. 30, and Congress has yet to reauthorize it. Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle say they want to continue the program but are arguing over how to pay for it.

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