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Latino kids and adults experienced historic increases in healthcare coverage when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded the amount of resources to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
But CHIP is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2017.
The U.S. Senate recently announced a bipartisan deal for funding to extend the “life” of the program, The New York Times reports.
The new agreement would fund CHIP for an additional five years.
Bill Frist, a Forbes contributor and former legislator, urged legislators to finalize the extension.
“Healthier children. A more productive workforce. Less financial ruin for working families,” Frist said of the benefits of CHIP.
The impact of CHIP
CHIP was created to serve children whose families make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford other coverage.
The program has proven to be especially significant for Latino children, as the number of uninsured has dropped from 26% in 2000 to 7.5% as of 2015.
Nearly nine million children receive health coverage thanks to the program. The federal government currently spends nearly $14 billion a year to fund CHIP.
“Congress needs to act quickly to extend the funding for CHIP,” said Sen. Orin Hatch of Utah, who helped create the program in 1997 with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. “[The new agreement] would provide uninterrupted founding for CHIP and increased flexibility for states to administer the program.”
Several studies, according to The New York Times, have determined that CHIP coverage provides better, more comprehensive benefits for children.
CHIP coverage also comes in at lower costs than many of the health plans sold on insurance exchanges established under the ACA.
Nearly 90% of children in CHIP are in families with annual incomes below twice the poverty level — less than about $49,000 for a family of four.
Read more about health care coverage and Latinos here:
- Latino Immigrant Families Often Forego Health Care Services #SaludSupport #SaludInsurance http://salud.to/2w9bL08
- Latinos Are Closing the Big Gap in Access to Healthcare #SaludSupport #SaludInsurance http://salud.to/2gKgKts
- Proposal to Give All Young Adults in CA Health Care Fails to Pass #SaludSupport #SaludInsurance http://salud.to/2w7ufcr