Health insurance for children is at risk in the US

Children’s Health Insurance Program kids
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Children could be losing their insurance coverage in the coming year

Health insurance for children in the United States may be at risk. Congress has chosen not to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and a the King v. Burwell case concerning health insurance subsidies is currently being heard by the Supreme Court. These issues could lead to a significant number of children, as well as their families, losing coverage in the relatively near future. The loss of insurance coverage could place some children at risk, especially if they have serious medical conditions.

Coverage for 1.9 million children is currently at risk

An estimated 1.9 million children could lose their insurance coverage in the coming year, according to an analysis from the Urban Institute. The coverage of 730,000 children is at stake due to the King v. Burwell case, which involves the legality of subsidies provided by the federal government. These subsidies were made available through the Affordable Care Act, but the federal law does not include provisions for these subsidies to be offers in states where the government manages a health insurance exchange. If the Supreme Court rules against the subsidies, many consumers would lose access to insurance coverage because it would simply become too expensive.

Lack of CHIP funding could lead to 1.1 million children losing their coverage

Children Health InsuranceCHIP provides coverage for some 1.1 million children throughout the country. The program was allowed to expire, however, which means that these children could lose their health insurance coverage. Because the program does not have the support of federal funds, states will have to devote more money to the program if they want it to survive. This would represent a costly investment, however, and many states are not expected to be able to handle the costs associated with the program.

Lawmakers consider extending funding for CHIP another two years

Some lawmakers are seeking to extend the funding of CHIP for another two years, but others want to see the eligibility rules of the program limited. Families are being encouraged to try and find coverage through state-based programs or through health insurance exchanges. Though the initial open enrollment period for exchanges ended, a special enrollment period will be open until the end of April.

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