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Report Charts 32 Percent Growth of CHIP Program

By Rebecca Adams, CQ HealthBeat Associate Editor

October 21, 2014 -- Total enrollment in the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) grew by 32 percent from 2005 to 2012, according to a report released last week, while spending on the program grew by more than 45 percent during that time period.

The report from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation found that on an annualized basis, costs for the program grew at a compound rate of 5.5 percent a year from 2005 through 2012.

Most of the spending is covered by the federal government, which provides matching rates that ranged from 65 percent to a maximum of 81 percent in fiscal 2013.
Over the time period studied, total national health expenditures rose by a compound rate of 2.7 percent per year.

In fiscal 2012, CHIP covered 8.1 million children and about 200,000 adults, according to the report.

The data provide some additional context for lawmakers in Congress considering the program's future. Federal funding for CHIP expires on Oct. 1, 2015. A coalition of children's advocates is pushing Congress to extend funding for the program for another four years. The health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152) allowed legislative authority for the program to continue until 2019.

Supporters of CHIP say that the program has played a vital role in expanding coverage for children in the United States. The report noted that the share of uninsured children fell from 15 percent of all children in 1997 to 9 percent in 2012. U.S. Census figures released last month found that the percentage of children without insurance fell to 7.6 percent in 2013.

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