We strongly urge Congress to renew federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) without delay. Congress must act before New York runs out of money for its CHIP program, known as Child Health Plus (CHP), and is forced to take steps that would harm our children and families. The undersigned represent organizations from around New York that serve children and families in many different capacities and we are deeply concerned that the deadline for funding CHIP has now expired.
Specifically, we urge you to extend1. CHIP funding through 2022;2. the current maintenance of effort provision (MOE) for three additional years, through 2022, to ensure a stable source of health care coverage for children; and3. the current federal CHIP matching rate through 2022 while the MOE is in place.
Great strides have been made in achieving historically high rates of children’s health coverage rates both nationally and in New York largely due to bipartisan support for CHIP. New York can be proud that nearly 98 percent of our children have health insurance thanks in large part to Medicaid and CHIP.
According to the New York State Department of Health, CHP covers almost 350,000 children. CHP stands on the shoulders of Medicaid by providing high-quality, comprehensive coverage to uninsured children who are not eligible for Medicaid but lack affordable access to private insurance. Evidence demonstrates that CHP is effective: children with coverage are more likely to have a usual source of care, including dental care, and more likely to have had a well-child visit in the past year compared to children without insurance. Children with CHP coverage also have access to doctor-recommended screenings to ensure they stay healthy and enter school ready to learn.
New York, like all states, is in urgent need of continued, stable, long-term funding for CHIP. No family should face the loss of coverage for their children because Congress failed to act. Congress can and must extend CHIP now, before any child loses health insurance coverage.