The Children’s Health Insurance Program Has Run Out Of Funds Leaving Millions Of Children Without Cover

December 16, 2017
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Millions of Children in the US are facing a potential loss of Health Coverage over the coming months as federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has run out. The federal funding expired in September and Congress has not been able to agree on a way to pay for the program which has previously had strong bipartisan support.

CHIP insures almost 9 million children from low-income families and it is believed that most states will run out of money completely in the next few months if Congress does not act fast.

According to the NY Times, Congressional leaders have promised to provide funds for the historical program; however, they are disagreeing on how to cover the cost. It is thought that Congress might provide short-term relief for the states in most urgent need of help while the ongoing negations continue.

According to figures published by the NY Times, 16 states including California, Washington and Delaware will run out of money by the end of January affecting some 4.9 million children who get coverage from CHIP.

US President Barack Obama, surrounded by members of the US Congress, signs the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) bill in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, February 4, 2009.

Other figures conclude that by the end of March up to 36 states will have run out of money thus affecting the 7.7 million children getting coverage from CHIP. Likewise, by the end of the summer 2018, the money for 46 states and D.C. will run out and 8.4 million children will lose out.

Although states are required by law to continue to cover children whose insurance is managed by their Medical programs until the end of 2019, it is not clear on the exact figure of children who will lose coverage when the money runs out.

If the states are unable to find the money to cover the shortfall, it is believed that they might freeze enrollment or shut down the programs completely. Colorado, Connecticut, Texas, Utah and Virginia have said that they could axe the program which insures children whose parents have high enough earnings for Medical yet can’t afford other coverage.

Due to the fact that each state runs the programs separately, they will all run out at different times of the year. Most states had assumed that the federal government would be keeping the program funded when they were devising their own budgets for 2018.

Estimates of when states will run out of federal money are from the Kaiser Family Foundation. If you want to read the in-depth report as published in the NY Times, you can do so here and you will also find links to other external sources: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/14/us/children-at-risk-of-losing-health-care-CHIP.html

 

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