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With CHIP in limbo, here are 5 takeaways on the congressional impasse

Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News on

Published in Political News

Most states are doing little except looking for other unspent federal funds or asking the federal government to send some unspent funds from other states. But some, such as Colorado, are sending warning letters to beneficiaries to tell them that the program could soon end and to look for alternatives. This could mean exploring the ACA marketplace for coverage or researching if a child qualifies for Medicaid.

Colorado said it has only enough CHIP funding to last through January and then the program, without federal dollars, will end.

Arizona officials announced Thursday that it will use Medicaid funding to fill in the shortage of CHIP dollars to extend the life of its CHIP program.

Virginia officials plan to send out a similar notice to parents of CHIP members by early this month.

Minnesota is keeping CHIP alive by paying the federal share with state funds.

In Oregon, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown recently said that she is ready to spend $35 million in state funds to keep CHIP running through December.

 

Nevada this week announced it had been approved for extra funding from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services -- nearly $5.7 million -- which could keep CHIP alive through December and possibly January.

California, which leads the nation in CHIP enrollment, has received the lion's share of CMS redistribution funds since October: nearly $692 million.

"Approximately 98 percent of the 1.3 million population now covered using CHIP funding would continue to receive coverage under the Medicaid program because of a legal obligation to cover them through September 2019," said California Medicaid/CHIP spokesman Tony Cava. "If CHIP is not reauthorized, the governor and Legislature would need to deliberate on how best to address the population no longer eligible for federal CHIP funding."

3. When is Congress likely to act?

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