Congress allows federal Children’s Health Insurance Program to expire, affecting 75,000 Colorado children
State officials say there’s enough money to keep CHIP program going until end of January
October 3, 2017
Congress just let expire federal funding for a program that provides low-cost health insurance to 9 million children, at least 75,000 of whom live in Colorado.
Colorado officials said they still have enough unspent federal aid to continue the program through the end of January, but if the program is not renewed by then many children will not be able to see their doctor or get their immunizations. The Children's Health Insurance Program also currently provides insurance to 800 pregnant women in Colorado, state officials said.
In a letter to Colorado's congressional delegation, nearly 80 advocates of the program, including the Colorado Hospital Association, urged renewal of the program.
"CHIP, partnered with Medicaid, has given Colorado the two-pronged approach it needed to help increase coverage for kids, driving the percent of uninsured Colorado kids to an all-time low of only 2.5 percent," their letter states.
That letter also warns that if the federal program isn't renewed, Colorado would lose out on $254 million in annual federal funding. "That's a hole in the state budget that Colorado won't be able to close due to constitutionally imposed tax and spending limitations," it continues.