A new analysis by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families found that if Congress does not act soon to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), an estimated 1.9 million children in separate CHIP programs could lose coverage in January. An additional 1 million children would also be at risk of losing coverage by the end of February.
“Congress must get CHIP done before they leave for the holidays. The policy for a five-year CHIP extension has had bipartisan support for months now, so there are no more excuses for kicking this can down the road any further,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University research center. “Families need the peace of mind that their child’s coverage will not disappear as the new year begins.”
Funding for CHIP expired on September 30. Congress has not approved additional funding but provided a so-called “patch” as part of the short-term Continuing Resolution passed by Congress on December 7 and signed into law on December 8. The patch reallocated funds among states giving more money to 20 states (including D.C.) with shortfalls in the 1st quarter of 2018. As no new money was added, the patch will actually cause the remaining 31 more states to run out of money more quickly.
[Update: On December 21, Congress approved another short-term patch to keep CHIP funded through March, 2018.]