Florida's Children's Health Insurance Program faces uncertainty

Henrietta Brewer
January 13, 2018

"He is committed to working with his colleagues to provide long-term reauthorizing and funding for the program that is vital for so many vulnerable children in the Denali KidCare program and across the country".

News-Miner opinion: The Children's Health Insurance Program is set to run out of funding in March, but, thankfully, bipartisan support exists to renew it. It serves about 9 million children nationwide each year, and states have some discretion in setting their income eligibility standards, and eligibility varies across states.

Before Congress acted last month, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, which advises Congress, had projected that Arizona, the District of Columbia, Minnesota and North Carolina would exhaust CHIP funding by December 31.

Federal funding for children's health care, which was running on fumes last month, got a jolt of congressional cash in late 2017 that should last through March in the Bay State, according to the Baker administration.


"I think the fact that we are watching and sort of seeing what's happening up in Washington, D.C. with the CHIP program and the funding makes this task force even more important", Duran said. Funding for the program expired back in September. However long an extension they land on, lawmakers said, all signs point that CHIP will at the very least get funded in the January 19 continuing budget resolution that Congress needs to pass to avert a government shutdown. The House plan includes a controversial funding provision - opposed by Democrats - that takes millions of dollars from the Affordable Care Act's Prevention and Public Health Fund and increases Medicare premiums for some higher-earning beneficiaries. But federal officials miscalculated.

Already, some states have begun to send out notices to families warning them that their children's insurance may no longer be available in the coming months.

A 2014 report by Health Affairs comparing Medicaid and CHIP coverage to employer-sponsored insurance, revealed that families enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP fared better in medical bill repayments than families with private insurance (10 percent versus 19 percent). It works to safeguard the health of children, and long has enjoyed bipartisan support. She can not afford private coverage for her two children on her dental hygienist pay. "We should stop the uncertainty and permanently extend CHIP". The group practice hasn't changed any scheduling for CHIP patients, but he said "families are terrified" about the program having to be terminated.

In his 35 years of practice, Patel, of San Antonio, has seen the lengths to which parents will go for their critically ill children.


"These families don't know if the rug is being pulled out from them at any time", he said.

If Pennsylvania cancels CHIP, she likely won't bring Javier, 2, for his two-year checkup unless there's something clearly wrong with him.

Families across America had to start 2018 anxious that their kids wouldn't have health care.


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