Health Reform WK-EDGE Analysis predicts impact if Congress fails to extend CHIP funding
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Analysis predicts impact if Congress fails to extend CHIP funding

By Sheryl Allenson, J.D.

In anticipation that federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is set to expire on September 30, 2017, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has put out a fact sheet dealing with states’ planning and preparedness regarding the funding expiration.

The foundation, along with Health Management Associates conducted a survey this summer of state Medicaid officials to learn about their state budget assumptions as it relates to CHIP, along with their plans for CHIP in the absence of Congressional action to extend funding. The survey revealed that nearly all responding states (48 of 50 plus the District of Columbia) had included continuing federal CHIP funding in their FY 2018 state budgets. Many also assumed that the funding would continue with the 23 percentage point enhanced federal match provided by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148).

The fact sheet noted that in light of the states’ assumptions, most would have a budget shortfall in the event that Congress fails to extend federal funding. The fact sheet contains an appendix with comprehensive data on state budget assumptions and projected dates of exhaustion of federal funds.

According to KFF, states will be faced with budget pressures, in some cases leading to a loss of coverage for children as well as other administrative problems. From the survey, the foundation found that if funding is not extended, 11 states anticipate exhausting federal funding by the end of this year and 32 states expect the same result by March 2018.

Some states have planned action to take in the event funding is not extended. Some plan to either close or cap enrollment in CHIP and/or to discontinue coverage for children in separate CHIP programs. The fact sheet details several states’ plans on action to be taken if Congress does not act to extend federal funding. The fact sheet describes the possibility of loss of coverage for children and the resultant negative effects on their health and impact upon family finances.

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