It’s time to sound the alarm for the Children’s Health Insurance program (CHIP), according to a new blog by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Congress must act by the end of this month to renew federal funding and keep the program alive. Otherwise, projections are that Florida will run out of CHIP funds by January 2018. This would likely trigger the loss of coverage for 300,000 children currently enrolled in the Florida Healthy Kids and MediKids programs.
For another 134,000 Florida children covered by Medicaid, the state risks losing millions of federal dollars to maintain their enrollment. Notably, additional state dollars for this purpose have not been appropriated in Florida’s 2017-18 budget.
Since enactment of CHIP in 1997, the uninsured rate for Florida’s children has dramatically decreased; 284,000 children, however, remain uninsured. De-funding the CHIP program would be an inexcusable step backward.
Congress must promptly renew federal funding to keep the CHIP program alive.