Recommendations for the Future of CHIP and Children’s Coverage

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January 2017 | CHIP

This report presents MACPAC’s recommendations to Congress on the future of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and children’s coverage. The package of nine recommendations is built around a core recommendation to extend federal funding for CHIP through fiscal year (FY) 2022, with supporting recommendations that would mitigate budget uncertainty for states and assure the stability and continuity of health insurance coverage for low- and moderate-income children over this five-year transition period. The package also recommends support for states to test innovations leading to a more seamless system of children’s coverage in the future, and modest changes to existing law to streamline the program and extend other child health initiatives that are expiring.

Although the CHIP’s authorization does not expire, without congressional action, states will not receive any new federal funds for CHIP beyond September 30, 2017. If CHIP funding is not extended, millions of low- and moderate-income children would face the prospect of having to find other coverage at a time of uncertainty around the stability and availability of other sources of coverage. MACPAC has found that many of the children covered under separate CHIP would lose health coverage, and although some of them would be eligible for other coverage, their families would have to pay considerably more for it than they would under CHIP. They could also lose coverage for health, dental, and developmental services that are often unavailable through other plans. Although children covered by Medicaid-expansion CHIP would not lose coverage, there would be a significant shift in the funding obligation for their coverage to the states.

This document will be published as a chapter in the March 2017 Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP.

Publication Type: Reports to Congress

Tags: benefits, children, CHIP, CHIP funding allotment, comparisons with other sources of coverage, cost sharing, Enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (E-FMAP), financing, maintenance of effort, matching rate, premiums, spending, uninsured