House Votes to Continue CHIP Funding

November 2017 ~

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 242-174 to reauthorize federal funding to maintain low-cost health insurance to 8.9 million children and 370,000 pregnant women under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

H.R. 3922, the Community Health and Medical Professionals Improve Our Nation Act, also referred to as the Championing Healthy Kids Act of 2017, combines two bills previously introduced in the House: H.R. 3922, the Champion Act, and H.R. 3921, the Healthy Kids Act.

Federal funds for CHIP and community health centers expired at the end of September. The legislation grants a five-year extension of CHIP (through 2022), Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) through FY2019, and revises CHIP and Medicaid. Specifically, H.R. 3922:

  • Extends funding through FY2022 for CHIP allotments, as well as the Child Enrollment Contingency Fund, the Childhood Obesity Demonstration Project, and Pediatric Quality Measures Program, and specified outreach and enrollment grants;
  • Reauthorizes through FY2022 the qualifying-states option and the express-land eligibility option;
  • Extends funding through FY2019 for FQHCs through the Community Health Center Fund;
  • Extends funding through FY2019 for the National Health Service Corps, Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education, Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, the Youth Empowerment Program, and the Personal Responsibility Education Program;
  • Allows state CHIP programs to adopt more restrictive eligibility standards with respect to children in families whose income exceeds 300% of the poverty line who have an offer of employer-sponsored insurance;
  • Ensures the unwinding of the enhanced Federal Matching Assistance Percentage (E-FMAP) for child-health assistance by not extending the E-FMAP beyond FY2019, providing a 11.5 percent E-FMAP in FY2020, and returning to the traditional pre-ACA CHIP matching rate in FY2021 and FY2022;
  • Eliminates $5 billion in Medicaid payment reductions for disproportionate-share hospitals (DSH allotments) in FY2018 and FY2019, and offsets the cost of this policy with new additional reductions in FY2021 through FY2023;
  • Allots over $1 billion in Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands through FY2019 and allows funding be further increased through 2019 if the oversight board certifies Puerto Rico takes specific actions to improve its Medicaid program’s quality, integrity, and accountability;
  • Allows states to define their grace period requirements for patients receiving advance premium tax credits (APTCs) and cost sharing reductions (CSRs) or move to a default of one month;
  • Redirects Prevention and Public Health Fund dollars to support critical prevention and public health programs in this bill;
  • Improves current law related to third-party liability under Medicaid and CHIP to save Medicaid and CHIP programs by ensuring other liable third parties pay to the extent of their liability;
  • Specifies how a state must treat qualified lottery winnings and lump-sum income for purposes of determining Medicaid eligibility.

The bill will now move to the Senate.

 

Source(s): Modern Healthcare; Reuters; The Hill; Becker’s Hospital Review;

 

 

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