On May 11, the National Governors Association (NGA) sent a
letter to Congressional Leadership on the Senate Finance Committee and House Committee on Energy and Commerce asking that Congress act quickly to provide a five-year extension of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at the current enhanced match. CHIP provides 8.9 million children with health coverage, including coverage for dental services. Federal funding for the 20-year-old program will end on Sept. 30, 2017, unless Congress takes action to extend federal funding for CHIP.
In March 2017 the Medicaid and CHIP Payment Access Commission (MACPAC) released its
Report to Congress, which noted that under current law, five states are expected to spend their remaining CHIP allotments by December 2017 and 29 states and the District of Columbia are expected to spend their remaining CHIP allotments by March 2018.
On May 9, the Senate Finance Committee
postponed a hearing on the future of CHIP, reportedly at the request of some members of Congress who did not want discussion surrounding the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to overshadow efforts to extend CHIP. To date, that hearing has not been rescheduled.
According to the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD), if Congress does not act soon to guarantee CHIP funding past Sept. 30, some states will begin as early as July to notify current CHIP beneficiaries that their coverage will be terminated.
The enhanced federal match, a 23%-point increase in the federal CHIP match rate (not to exceed 100%), will end in FY19.