• Talking Points
  • February 9, 2018

CHIP: A Bipartisan Success Story

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) plays a critical role in the coverage landscape for children. Together, CHIP and Medicaid provide health care coverage to more than 36 million children. Medicaid provides coverage for over 30 million children, and CHIP builds on that foundation to provide coverage for over 6 million children who are not eligible for Medicaid, but lack access to affordable health coverage.

Although funding lapsed on Sept. 30, 2017, Congress acted on Jan. 22, 2018, to pass a six-year CHIP extension, and again on Feb. 9 to extend CHIP for an additional four years through FY 2027.

  • CHIP was created in 1997 with strong bipartisan support to provide coverage for children who fell above Medicaid eligibility levels but lacked access to other options. CHIP was specifically designed to include child appropriate benefits, access to pediatric providers, and cost-sharing limits to protect children and families.
  • Healthy children grow up to become healthy adults, and CHIP helps children reach their full potential. CHIP, together with Medicaid, has brought the rate of uninsured U.S. children to an all-time low, with 95 percent of all children insured. If CHIP had not been extended, many CHIP-enrolled children may lose coverage, threatening our nation's historic gains in insuring children over the past two decades.

Congress acted to provide long-term stability to CHIP

  • On Jan. 22, Congress passed a six-year CHIP extension. The extension passed with bipartisan support and retained important policies currently in place, including strong funding for states and vital beneficiary protections, as well as continued funding for the Pediatric Quality Measures program (PQMP) — the only significant federal investment in pediatric health care quality.
  • On Feb. 9, Congress acted again to extend CHIP for an additional four years. This extension continued important beneficiary protections and funding for the PQMP. Beginning in 2024, states will also be required to report on the pediatric quality measures in the Child Core Set.
  • Federal funding for CHIP expired Oct. 1 and, prior to Congress's action to extend the program, states were beginning to exhaust all available funds and started to take steps to close down their programs altogether. Some states had already taken steps to notify families that their children's coverage may be ending.

Children's hospitals applaud Congress for passing a 10-year CHIP extension. This extension will provide stability for the millions of children who rely on CHIP.