Both chambers of Congress will likely move on a Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) bill tomorrow, setting up what advocates hope will be a quick process to finish the already-overdue reauthorization process.
The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to mark up its bill in the morning. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which included CHIP reauthorization in a broader bill that includes assistance for Puerto Rico, is set to begin at 1:00 p.m.
CHIP’s authorization expired on Sunday. According to recent research by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 10 states will run out of funding for CHIP by the beginning of 2018, most of them in the western United States. Most other states will run out by the first quarter of 2018.
As far as the CHIP bill goes, the House and Senate versions are identical. Both include two more years of the current federal matching rate for CHIP, a 23 percent boost ushered in by the Affordable Care Act. The enhanced match rate drops to 11.5 percent in year three, and is phased out for the final two years of the legislation.
CHIP was established in the 1990s. It helps states support children whose parents are not eligible for Medicaid, but cannot afford insurance for their children. States have broad discretion in setting their income eligibility standards, and eligibility varies across states.