Congress let funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expire over the weekend. The program that provides health insurance for nearly 100,000 Hoosier children has reserves to continue normal operations for now.
Jointly funded by the federal government and the states, CHIP has covered Hoosier children for 20 years.
The Affordable Care Act increased funding and brought the state’s expenses down. Covering Kids and Families public policy director Mark Fairchild says Indiana has rollover money that will help cover as federal funding goes away.
“Really things will get more worrisome if we look six months out from now when we still don’t have a clear plan on the table because the state will have to look at how do we stretch those dollars we have in reserve,” says Fairchild.
Fairchild says all the focus on repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act has bumped any legislation to shore up CHIP.
“Most of the same committees that would be involved with planning CHIP were involved with the funding aspects of repeal and replace plans,” Fairchild says.
Hearings are already scheduled for this week.
“Pretty quickly after that I think we’ll see that getting moved to a vote on the floor because it is a really popular program and no one wants to be the one that drops the ball on this,” says Fairchild.
Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration says the program has sufficient funding to continue normal operations for the next several months.
Only 5 percent of Indiana’s children are uninsured.