CBO: Reauthorizing CHIP Will Save $6 Billion

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CBO: Reauthorizing CHIP Will Save $6 Billion

Dr. Joanne Hilden, a pediatric cancer physician in Aurora, Colo., and past president of the American Society of Hematology-Oncology, said cancer patients who are anxious their CHIP funding will run out can't schedule care ahead of time.

The budget includes $26.7 million for a voluntary pilot program to send community health workers to visit struggling families. The program covers almost 9 million children and pregnant women across the country.

The Congressional Budget Office has previously estimated that it would cost the federal government $800 million to extend the CHIP program for another five years.

In Delaware, the state adds $2.9 million to the federal $30 million to fund the Delaware Healthy Children Program, which provides low-priced health insurance to children whose parents don't qualify for Medicaid.

In December, Congress passed short-term funding for the program - injecting it with $3 billion through March 2018.

Funding CHIP is cheaper than moving the covered children to other coverage options, including Medicaid and through subsidized plans in the Affordable Care Act marketplace, according to the CBO. The bill was not taken up by the U.S. Senate. "It would be devastating to those children who wouldn't get those services".

Without CHIP, dental hygienist Marina Natali says she couldn't afford health coverage for her sons, 12-year-old Ciro (right) and 15-year-old Marcus.

When Marina Natali's younger son broke his arm ice-skating previous year, she did not have to worry about paying: CHIP footed all of his medical bills.

When Marina Natali's younger son broke his arm ice-skating in 2017, she didn't have to worry about paying for so much as a doctor's visit: CHIP footed all the medical bills.

The American Academy of Pediatrics will hold a conference call Friday to urge Congress to pass long-term funding for CHIP.

The news, first, comes less than a month after Texas Health and Human Services Commission officials announced that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was giving the state $135 million to continue the program through February. "Meanwhile, Colorado and CT families received letters informing them that their children may soon lose CHIP coverage". As it happens, that estimate only included seven years of funding, for reasons I couldn't quite figure out.

Alabama and Utah are among several states unsure how long their federal CHIP funding will last, according to interviews with state officials. "If we go to six years, it may have no cost", Walden said Thursday, referring to the CBO analysis, which shows a breakeven point at about the six-year mark (see the table here).

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