Funding support for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expired on September 30th, 2017. A long-term funding solution was not developed, rather a short-term method of reallocating funds was implemented to sustain the program. States have been using these redistributed funds to keep CHIP afloat, yet states are beginning to exhaust all available federal funding. It is important to note that this short-term solution did not create new CHIP funding and gives support to states who are running out of funds the fastest. Yet, this bucket of federal dollars continues to dwindle, putting more states at risk of losing financial support.
The patchwork funding for CHIP is stirring continuous uncertainty as to whether children and families in different states will be able to keep their coverage. Nationally, over 9 million children are covered through CHIP. In Pennsylvania, more than 180,000 children are insured through CHIP. Several states have already began sending letters to families that announce plans for ending kids’ coverage given that the funding will not be renewed. As time continues on without a long-term solution to funding CHIP, more states may be following behind as stage agencies funding resources deplete. Pennsylvania’s funds are projected to sustain through March, yet this band-aid fix is worrying for the future sustainability of this critically important support program.
Amidst these uncertainties around CHIP, here are key points to keep in mind in order to ensure your access to care is unhindered:
Right now, there are no changes to CHIP.
Continue to make and keep any doctor’s or dentist’s appointments. For those children in low-cost or at-cost CHIP, continue to pay your premiums.
You will be notified 30 days in advance if there are any changes.
Complete and send out CHIP renewal notices
Help and more information is always available.
Feel free to visit this website or call 800-986-KIDS, Monday through Friday, between 8:30 AM and 5 P.M.