The program currently covers the kids of almost 9 million low income American families.
Kids covered by CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, could potentially lose their plans if it is not reauthorized in time. The program was designed to offer low income families with the opportunity to cover their kids inexpensively.
For many families, this health insurance program is the only means of covering medical care.
CHIP provides kids with coverage for pediatric visits from annual checkups to ear infections, and from surgeries to radiation and chemotherapy. For many children across the country, the Children’s Health Insurance Program has made it possible for families to afford to save their kids’ lives. However, time is running out on the program and its future is unclear.
The health insurance program has received bipartisan support since it was first created twenty years ago. However, the program needs to be reauthorized this year as it faces an expiration deadline. Unfortunately, legislators have allowed that deadline to pass as they quibble over other issues relating to health care, mainly in the form of the most recent GOP effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
As a result, millions of children are at risk of losing the health insurance they receive through CHIP.
While the Affordable Care Act remains a controversial law and Americans struggle to come to a decision regarding how they want to deal with it, the same cannot be said about opinions related to the kids health insurance program.
About three quarters of American support the renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll conducted in September.
Unfortunately, this program that the vast majority of Americans feel is highly important and worth renewing risks fizzling away due to debates in other areas of health care.
If CHIP is not renewed, there could be widespread ramifications. The program is meant to cover the children and pregnant women who are from low income households but who do not qualify for Medicaid. Without it, many families would not be able to afford to obtain a diagnosis for a child’s illness, let alone treat it.