Congress has allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which insures 9 million children in the United States, to expire. The program provided coverage for children in families making under 200% Federal Poverty Level (FPL) as well as to pregnant women. CHIP played a huge part in decreasing the rate of uninsured children from 14% in 1997 to 4.5% in 2015. By taking no action to renew the program before September 30, 2017 the U.S. Congress allowed the program to lose future funding, putting millions of American children at risk of major health complications from ordinarily treatable conditions.

CHIP covers comprehensive coverage for children, including routine check-ups, immunizations, doctor visits, prescriptions, dental and vision care, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, laboratory and x-ray services, and emergency services. The out-of-pocket costs are different depending on which state a family is living in, but they will not exceed 5% of a family’s annual income. For the

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The Children’s Health Insurance Program (or CHIP) is a national program available in every state. Many families find themselves above the income limit to be eligible for Medicaid but still unable to afford health insurance. CHIP aims to assist these families in getting healthcare coverage by providing children under the age of 19 whose family income is too high to qualify for Medicaid with health insurance at low or no cost. The program is available throughout the nation but requirements vary by state, and the program goes by various names as well. The income limits vary by state and range from as low as 175% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to as high as 300% of the FPL. States operate CHIP as either an expansion of Medicaid, a separate program entirely, or as some combination of the two.

Financing

  Signed into law in 1997, CHIP is funded jointly by the federal government and individual states. The federal government matches a percentage of the amount each state funds. This percentage is

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