Texas Finds One-Month CHIP Funding Fix

Credit Wyoming Department of Health

Credit Wyoming Department of Health

According to a notice on the website, even if you do apply by December 31st, coverage is only guaranteed through February 1 due to funding from the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

But state reauthorization does little good as long as Congress refuses to release federal funds.

For the next year, the couple searched for something they could afford but they weren't able to find anything - until they were given the opportunity to enroll their son in the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The move aims to expand access to healthcare coverage to the roughly 800,000 Floridians who now fall into the 'coverage gap.' That mean they earn too little to qualify for a subsidy on plans offered through the federal health insurance marketplace, but earn too much to be considered eligible for Medicaid.

To avoid immediate disruption, MassHealth is claiming certain spending under Medicaid to reserve for CHIP funding only, to extend it through the end of the state fiscal year. In Pennsylvania, federal funding covers about 90 percent of the $450 million cost, according to Wolf's office. It has enjoyed bipartisan support since it was enacted in 1997. Only the CHIP kids are at risk because of congressional inaction.

It, of course, comes down to money and politics. The House of Representatives passed long-term CHIP funding that is awaiting action in the Senate.

There's also a question of whether to give the program $14 billion or only $12 billion for 2018. That means states like OR which have had to put in their own money to keep the program running would be made whole.

For the past couple of months, Wolf has pushed for the federal government to reauthorize CHIP.

Across the country, almost 9 million children are affected.

Every few years, Congress re-evaluates the program before it renews funding. I don't know about you, I've had enough of this.

Congress spent the summer trying and failing to undo Obamacare's damage to the individual health insurance market. "But the need for Congress to act quickly has not diminished, and I hope Congress will reauthorize the program soon in order to provide the longer-term certainty that working families in Texas need".

Congress could have reauthorized the program in January and had the bill on Trump's desk ready to sign Jan. 21.

Deti said this is an issue all states are facing. "We're better off than most states, but boy everyone is watching to see what Congress will do".

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