Thousands of Idaho children could be uninsured after CHIP funding expired

But three states and the District of Columbia will run out of funds and have to shut down their programs by December 2017.

At about $14 billion a year, the program is significantly smaller than Medicare and Medicaid, and is responsible for reducing the uninsured rate among children from 14 percent to 5 percent over two decades. "All of this uncertainty and instability and inaction creates problems for us when we are the ones who are ultimately responsible to the people of Minnesota to deliver the services the government has said it would provide". "It's pretty upsetting that the time tradeoff has been an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act".

Until reauthorization is approved by Congress, Minnesota taxpayers will be paying more of the bill for CHIP. Though CHIP in general is popular, there are details enough in the reauthorization to trip up this Congress.

Fewer, but still about half, say it is "extremely" or "very" important for Congress to work on reforming the tax code, which may cut taxes for some individuals (49 percent), or work on continuing efforts to repeal and replace the 2010 healthcare law (47 percent). But if they won't speak up, we will. Ninety-seven percent of the state's CHIP funding comes from the federal government.

The joint federal-state program is offered on a sliding scale for those who don't qualify for Medicaid in Pennsylvania, with some families getting free coverage for their children while others pay a monthly premium. States are already talking about freezing or ending coverage should the federal funds cease. "They don't want to alarm families but at some point they have to act", she explained.

Democrat Bennet, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Republican Gardner cosponsored the bipartisan legislation to ensure stability for vulnerable children. Congress failed to act on extending the popular program before the September 30 deadline. There are now around 9 million kids in the country that rely on CHIP - kids that would likely go uninsured if CHIP wasn't an option. "This action, however, comes with a significant financial penalty". However, some states are in better shape than others with those funds.

Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, expired on Saturday.

Since the program was created, the proportion of children who are uninsured has fallen to less than 5 percent today, from almost 14 percent in 1997. State officials have begun sending out notifications letting CHIP enrollees know that their coverage has lapsed.

California, which has 1.3 million children covered by CHIP, has the highest enrollment of any state running out of funding this year.

Cate Arnquist's 8-year-old son is one of the thousands of children in Arizona benefiting from KidsCare.

"We'd have to look at our options for limiting the services that are available", Nevada's deputy administrator for Medicaid Cody Phinney told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Lawmakers, state officials and local providers said the lapse won't cause any immediate changes here, but they're concerned about the situation and hopeful that historically strong bipartisan public support for the program will result in quick restoration of funding.

The state legislature has not yet called a special session to plan for the potential shortfall.

  • Rogelio Becker