Texas Health and Human Services Commission Requests $90M in CHIP Funding

December 2017 ~

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has requested $90 million in additional funding from CMS in hopes of keeping the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) afloat through February 2018.

The commission originally estimated it had enough funding to keep CHIP running until February, but waiving Hurricane Harvey victims’ CHIP fees and co-payments cut into the commission’s resources. The state HHS commission says it is prepared to refer families to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) online insurance marketplace if the funding is not approved, but has some concern about moving families from CHIP to the marketplace.

“Families might fall through the cracks, families might not be able to afford coverage in the marketplace,” said Adriana Kohler, senior health policy associate for the advocacy group Texans Care for Children. “And then there’s the system issue that needs to be worked out. On the online marketplace, if you qualify for other insurance programs like CHIP, you cannot enroll in a marketplace plan. So these kids are technically eligible for CHIP, but their coverage will lapse after January.”

Congress allowed CHIP funding to expire on September 30th. Texas’ program covers more than 400,000 children whose parents have too high an income to qualify for Medicaid, but make less than 200% of the federal poverty level. Should the additional funds not be approved, the state says it will be forced to end its CHIP on January 31st, 2018. Affected families would receive notices about the program’s termination during the last week of December 2017.

CMS has until December 9th to make its final decision.



Source(s): Texas Tribune; NPR; Dallas News; TPR;