States brace for Children’s Health Insurance Program to run out of money

Children’s Health Insurance Program kids

Almost a dozen states are getting ready for CHIP’s funding to run out, leaving kids from low-income families uninsured.

Almost a dozen U.S. states are bracing themselves as they watch the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) rapidly running out of money. The program is designed to provide coverage for children from low-income families and, according to a Washington Post report, it is nearly out of funds.

At the moment, there are five states that won’t have enough funding for their programs to get through December.

The report indicated that the Children’s Health Insurance Program will not have enough money to get them through late December. Moreover, another handful of states will only last for a few more months after that before they, too, run out of funds.

This CHIP report has to do with the fact that Congress missed the program’s funding deadline back in September. This placed CHIP – a program with bipartisan support – at a significant risk of bleeding itself dry for the first time since it was first created two decades ago.

There are 9 million low-and middle-income family kids covered by the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Children’s Health Insurance Program kidsMany of these children are at risk of losing their health insurance coverage if CHIP runs out of money. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have come together to redistribute about $607 million in funds to states and U.S. territories in order to assist states that requested assistance in being able to temporarily survive the lack of funds until something else is put into place.

Earlier in November, legislation meant to extend CHIP’s funding for another five years passed in the House. Moreover, the Senate Finance Committee passed a five-year CHIP extension with bipartisan support. However, that committee has not released offsets yet.

“I am working with my colleagues to advance this bill in a fiscally responsible manner so we can ensure coverage is maintained,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairperson Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

That said, states are reportedly bracing themselves to come up with a way to be able to afford to continue Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage until federal assistance arrives.

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