On September 18, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced a bipartisan bill, S. 1827, the Keeping Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act, to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years.
According to a statement issued by the committee, the legislation would extend funding for the CHIP through Fiscal Year 2022, maintain the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) federal match rate for CHIP through FY 2019, before lowering it to pre-ACA levels in FY 2020 and give states greater flexibility in administering the program. The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on September 7 that outlined the committee’s legislative priorities for CHIP.
Current funding for CHIP will expire on September 30, 2017. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has not yet released legislation that would reauthorize the program.
CHIP was signed into law under the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-32), and has traditionally carried broad bipartisan support in Congress. The program provides health insurance coverage for children in families with incomes that are modest but too high to qualify for Medicaid, and who do not have private insurance. CHIP operates differently in nearly every state – in some states, it is an extension of the state Medicaid program, while in other states CHIP functions as an independent program.
Across the United States, there are 780 counties where the majority of children receive healthcare under Medicaid or CHIP. CHIP plays a vital role in ensuring low-income residents, families and children have access to affordable, high-quality healthcare.
NACo is supportive of congressional efforts to strengthen and maintain CHIP, and will continue to monitor legislative developments on the program’s reauthorization.
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