Various states might soon have to suspend coverage programs that give healthcare coverage for kids unless Congress reauthorizes funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), in accordance to a government agency.
Arizona, Minnesota, California, North Carolina and the District of Columbia will run out of CHIP funding by the year of December 2017 unless Congress passes extra funds for the coverage program, in accordance to a report by the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) discussed during a Thursday panel meeting. By the month of March 2018, more than half of states are projected to exhaust their federal CHIP funds.
Congress last funded CHIP through MACRA, which gave almost $40 billion in federal funding over fiscal years 2016 and 2017 and ends on the day of Sept. 30. The program, which was developed in the year of 1997 with bipartisan support, serves about 8.4 million kids in families earning up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
As many as 1.1 million kids would be left uninsured if federal funding ends with the others either going into Medicaid or the marketplace for coverage. That number of kids without coverage programs could rise if the GOP eradicates subsidized healthcare on the exchanges. MACPAC’s uninsured estimate assumes cost sharing reductions will continue, in accordance to the commission.
But families could still confront higher costs for CHIP coverage even if marketplace subsidies continue. Families’ yeraly out-of-pocket costs for kids who have chronic conditions could increase by $233 to $2,472 if they are forced to shift to marketplace plans from CHIP because of the congressional inaction, in accordance to an April 2017 Health Affairs study.
MACPAC is emphasizing Congress to act as soon as possible as state legislatures sessions will be winding down this season of summer. Some states might move to cancel their CHIP coverage programs if they do not have certainty that federal funding will continue commission members said Thursday during a meeting.
“I consider it is significant that we make the point that if Congress waited up until the cliff, and then gave money, that would still pose a problem to states,” MACPAC Chairwoman Sara Rosenbaum claimed at a commission meeting Thursday.
In the month of December, the panel voted 16-1 to recommend that Congress extend CHIP funding through the day of Sept. 30, 2022.
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