Million Texas Kids May Soon Lose Their Health Insurance


Colorado officials say the health insurance program for children and pregnant women has enough federal money left over to remain operational through the first month of the year, but warn the money could be gone after that if Congress does not act to restore funding in the next couple months.

Its federal funding deadline was September 30, and if Congress does not work soon to restore the program, money that states provide toward CHIP could run out between December and March 2018, according to a Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission report from July.

The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing said Monday it anticipates the federal funding Colorado had collected before Sunday will fund the state's program through January 31 of next year. Here are some questions you might have.

Will children lose coverage because Congress missed the deadline?

As of now, they are still insured.

The program goes by different names depending on the state, such as Hoosier Healthwise in IN and PeachCare for Kids in Georgia.

"Although our state's CHIP program has enough money to last through March 2018, I am hopeful that Congress will deliver a long-term solution", Wicker said in a written statement Monday.

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The state isn't obligated to continue hawk-i funding if CHIP funding is exhausted, he added, so decisions would have to be made about its future.

The state would have to cover the remaining funding, which it says would "further strain" the state budget.

Families that qualify for the program are charged a sliding premium based on their income, but it is capped at $70 a month. All of this goes a long way in giving kids a quality of life they simply would not have if they could not go to the doctor regularly simply due to their families' income - that, of course, helps to control health care costs long-term, as well. But in 10 states the federal government covers 100 percent of the funding for the program. A family of four can get Medicaid coverage if its income does not exceed $32,724, according to the AHCCCS website, while the same family could earn up to $49,200 and possibly be eligible for KidsCare. If Congress does not act to renew the program and there are no other allotments, funding would be depleted sometime in the quarter ending June 30.

But the delay in reauthorizing CHIP will have real consequences if it lasts much longer. CHIP is the national program that funds Arizona's local KIDS CARE. Why the program lapsed remains unclear outside of House GOP leadership. One of them is U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans of Philadelphia. Cate Jeffries with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority said they can prolong the program if they essentially start buying on credit.

Arizona dropped KidsCare in 2014, briefly making it the only state in the nation with a version of CHIP. "Our neighborhoods are stronger when we invest in them and provide the quality, reliable healthcare they deserve and depend on for stability".

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-OR, announced late last week that the committee will markup a bill to extend federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, community health centers and other health programs next week. Hatch has said he doesn't want to see unrelated measures attached to the bill, but once the bill gets on the Senate floor, unexpected things can happen.