Testimony before the Senate Finance Committee on the Future of CHIP

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September 2017

The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance convened a hearing on the Children’s Health Insurance Program: The Path Forward to discuss the future of CHIP funding. This testimony, by MACPAC executive director Anne L. Schwartz, discusses the Commission’s recommendations on the future CHIP and children’s coverage, which center around renewing CHIP funding for five years, and extending the CHIP maintenance of effort and the 23 percentage point increase in the CHIP matching rate. MACPAC made these recommendations in January 2017 to ensure low- and moderate-income children have access to health care coverage during a period of uncertainty for health care markets.

The testimony highlights the urgent need for Congress to renew CHIP funds. If CHIP funds are not renewed beyond fiscal year (FY) 2017, an estimated 1.2 million children currently enrolled in separate CHIP would become uninsured. Most states are expected to exhaust federal CHIP funds within the first two quarters of FY 2018 and would need to take steps such as freezing enrollment or ending their programs; notifying families, plans, and providers; and making eligibility and enrollment system changes well before funds are exhausted.

Publication Type: Congressional Testimony

Tags: 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, uninsured