Governors come together to support the renewal of funding for CHIP
A coalition of governors from 39 states have come together to support the extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The program currently provides an estimated 8 million children and their families with insurance coverage. CHIP is a federal program, whose funding will expire at the end of October 2015 if Congress does not take action on the issue. The group of governors is pressuring federal lawmakers to renew funding for the program so that children and their families do not lose their health insurance coverage.
States have yet to make decisive funding plans
States have been awaiting Congressional action on the issue for some time. Many states have plans to continue funding CHIP, but cannot take decisive action until they know what federal lawmakers plan to do with the program. State legislatures will begin convening next year, during which time lawmakers will be discussing their plans for CHIP funding. If Congress does not choose to continue supporting CHIP, states will have a heavier financial burden and some states may not be able to accommodate higher expenses.
Congress seeks information on CHIP performance throughout the US
Congressional leaders have been reaching out to governors throughout the United States, asking them to provide information concerning CHIP and how many people receive coverage through the program. Federal lawmakers are also seeking information about the impact that the Affordable Care Act may have had on the program, especially now that families can find insurance coverage through state and federal exchanges. Congress is also seeking to understand why governors want to continue supporting the program financially.
Some states may not be able to support CHIP on their own
If Congress chooses not to renew funding for CHIP, states stand to lose several million dollars in funding from the federal government. In some states, this could mean that CHIP is no longer available, which will force families to find health insurance coverage elsewhere. State exchanges may be able to take up those that lose their insurance coverage, and some may be eligible for financial assistance from the federal government.