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Millions of kids depend on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for healthcare coverage.
This care helps ensure their physical, mental, and emotional health and helps to keep them on track toward a better chance at academic success.
Latino kids have especially benefited from CHIP program. More than 9 in 10 Latino kids were covered by CHIP in 2015, research shows.
Yet CHIP remains in jeopardy.
It expired in September 2017 and is only continuing thanks to “temporary measures” in early 2018.
In fact, The Hill reports that three state governments have sent warning letters to families alerting them that they could lose coverage for their children by Jan. 31, 2018, if new permanent funding from Congress is not approved.
Alabama (4% Latino), for example, recently announced a freeze on enrollment that began effective Jan. 1, 2018. Other states are taking similar approaches.
“The uncertainty over long-term funding could discourage enrollment in the program and cause more children to go uninsured,” The Hill reported. “States have already started to notify families that they may not have a source of coverage should Congress fail to enact a long-term extension of CHIP funding, and several states have started to use funds meant to operate the program to start shutting it down.”
The short-term funding bill approved by Congress at the end of 2017 provides $2.85 billion in funding for states through March 31, 2018.
Experts point to long-term uncertainty when it comes to families signing up for CHIP.
“The biggest [reason for this uncertainty] is stress to families — just not knowing, just not having any confidence in the ability to keep their child enrolled in health insurance,” Cathy Caldwell, the director of Alabama’s CHIP program, told The Hill.
Learn more about the importance of health coverage here: