Tags: states | shut down | chip | healthcare | children

WashPost: State Officials Preparing to Shut Down Children's Healthcare Program

Image: WashPost: State Officials Preparing to Shut Down Children's Healthcare Program
(AP)

By    |   Friday, 24 November 2017 09:52 AM

Officials in almost a dozen states are making preparations to notify families that the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is running out of money, The Washington Post is reporting.

Virginia and several other states are preparing to release letters as soon as Monday warning families that their children's insurance may be discontinued.

CHIP has remained popular and had bipartisan support, but Congress missed a Sept. 30 deadline to extend its funding. Almost 9 million children and 370,000 pregnant women around the U.S. get care thanks to the program, The Post reported.

The program has been credited with reducing the rate of uninsured children to 4.5 percent, a record low, and has been reauthorized numerous times, The Post reported.

"We are very concerned, and the reason is that Congress hasn't shown a strong ability to get stuff done. And the administration is completely out, has not even uttered a syllable on the issue. How this gets resolved is really unclear, and states are beginning to hit deadlines," said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus, a family advocacy organization, in The Post.

Others concerned with the issue hope Congress will extend CHIP funding before January, The Post reported.

"Everybody is still waiting and thinking Congress is going to act, and they probably will, but you can't run a healthcare program that way. You can't say ‘probably' everything is going to be all right," said Linda Nablo, chief deputy director for Virginia's Department of Medical Assistance Services.

States that must end the program would then have to decide if its enrollees are eligible to receive Medicaid or if their family needs to get insurance through an Obamacare marketplace, guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said earlier in November, The Post reported.

Congressional lawmakers cannot agree on how to pay for the program, The Post reported.

Andy Slavitt, who was the CMS director during the Obama administration, said that action on the program is a must.

"We're operating in a mode that we don't do anything until it's an absolute crisis, and we're created more crises that don't need to happen," Slavitt said, according to The Post.

Some states facing the deadline are taking action. Oregon is one of three states that will run out of CHIP funding in December, and Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday directed the state's health agency to guarantee coverage for those in the program, according to The Daily Astorian. 

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Officials in almost a dozen states are making preparations to notify families that the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is running out of money, The Washington Post is reporting.
states, shut down, chip, healthcare, children
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2017-52-24
Friday, 24 November 2017 09:52 AM
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