Congressional Action on CHIP: High Stakes for Children and Families

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<p>Congress will soon decide the future of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, widely recognized for increasing the number of U.S. children with health care coverage. The key decisions looming are whether to extend funding for the program, what the federal matching rate will be, and whether to make changes to eligibility.</p><p>In a new analysis for The Commonwealth Fund, George Washington University’s Sara Rosenbaum and colleagues review CHIP’s important role in providing low-income families with access to health care and examine the potential effects of ending or altering federal funding. CHIP currently covers 8.4 million children and provides maternity coverage for approximately 370,000 women.</p>
<p>If Congress fails to extend CHIP funding, states will run out of federal funds by 2018. Without the CHIP extension, an estimated 1.1 million children could lose coverage entirely, the authors say, while many others could face reduced coverage and significantly higher out-of-pocket costs.</p> Read the brief