Children’s Health Insurance Program -- NASN Advocacy Education Brief

By NASN Profile posted 10-16-2017 18:37

  

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expired on September 30, 2017. Fortunately, both House and Senate have marked-up similar versions of a five-year extension of CHIP.

The House version is called the CHAMPION Act, the “Community Health and Medical Professionals Improve Our Nation,” H.R. 3922, which includes community health centers, as well as CHIP. The House bill also provided an offset or “pay for” from the Prevention and Public Health Fund (Prevention Fund) of $6.36 billion. The Prevention Fund provides grants from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to every state and as well the District of Columbia and territories to fund prevention, disease prevention and chronic disease.

The Senate marked-up the “Keeping Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure Act,” the KIDS Act, S. 1827, which was a clean authorization, without offsets.

Congress needs to act immediately to pass this legislation into law. Eleven states estimate that they will run out of money by the end of 2017 if CHIP is not reauthorized.

CHIP has been a vital health insurance program for children and families since its bipartisan inception in 1997. CHIP finances health coverage for almost nine million children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to afford private health coverage.

CHIP was developed as a state-federal partnership that gives governors broad partnership flexibility to design programs for the needs of their child populations. As such, states need to know that these dollars will be available.

More than half of the nearly nine million children served by CHIP are eligible to receive services in school through their state Medicaid programs. Fifteen states exclusively use CHIP funds to extend their Medicaid programs, meaning all children who qualify for CHIP receive identical services and benefits as their traditional Medicaid-counterparts. In most states a substantial portion of children served by CHIP receive Medicaid services and benefits protections. Districts in these States bill Medicaid for health services they provide to CHIP eligible children. This funding stream is critical to ensuring that healthcare services can be delivered to eligible students in the school building.

NASN will be involved and advocating for passage of CHIP reauthorization so that children have access to needed healthcare.


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