In This Report:
- As a result of recent Congressional action, stable federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program is now assured for 10 years. A temporary increase in the federal match rate will end over this period, and states will have to assume a greater share of the costs.
- Federal law now ensures that Florida may not lower income eligibility levels for children in the CHIP and Medicaid programs.
- By FFY 2024 (October 1, 2023) Florida will be required to report all measures of the Child Core Set which measures quality of care in Medicaid and CHIP. These are indicators of child health such as immunization rates and preventive dental screenings.
After much delay, Congress recently passed two extensions of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which funds coverage for approximately 345,000 children in Florida. CHIP covers children in families with incomes over the poverty line that are not eligible for Medicaid but can’t afford private insurance. CHIP is a federal-state matching program and states contribute a share of the cost. The federal government’s share has been very generous in the last few years. Federal funding for CHIP has now been extended for 10 years, although the federal share of Florida’s program will decline over this time from a high of 96 percent back to CHIP’s regular match rate of approximately 72 percent by FFY 2021. Additionally, federal law now ensures that children’s income eligibility for CHIP and Medicaid in Florida cannot be lowered over this time period.
This brief will offer an explainer on the role CHIP plays for children’s coverage in Florida and unpack provisions of the new federal law and their implications for Florida.
Children’s Health Coverage in Florida
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) cover a combined 44 percent of children in the state of Florida. Medicaid funding provides coverage to over two million Floridian children, and CHIP funds coverage for more than 345,000 children. Florida has three different CHIP programs: MediKids, Healthy Kids, and the Children’s Medical Services Managed Care Plan. CHIP funding is also used to pay for the coverage of some children in Medicaid.
Over the years, Medicaid and CHIP have worked together to reduce the number of uninsured children in Florida.1 Florida’s child uninsured rate has declined considerably to 6.2 percent, but it is still higher than the national rate of 4.5 percent.
In Florida, and nationally, CHIP covers far fewer children than Medicaid. However, the CHIP program has been instrumental in reducing the number of uninsured children. The outreach efforts associated with the program, as well as the high federal funding match rate, has led many states to expand eligibility for kids. In 2016, for example, Florida expanded eligibility in Medicaid and CHIP to lawfully- present immigrant children who had resided in the United States for less than five years.
Read the first report in this series: Children’s Coverage in Florida: A Closer Look at Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.