Submitted by Washington State Health Care Authority
During the week of Oct. 2, Gov. Jay Inslee called on members of the Washington congressional delegation to act quickly to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program. CHIP authorization expired on Sept. 30.
CHIP is a federal program that provides an important funding stream for Apple Health (Medicaid). Washington state law requires health care coverage for children in households up to 250 percent federal poverty level. The state uses CHIP funding to cover additional children from 250 to 312 percent FPL. About 16,000 kids in the state fall into that range.
In an Oct. 3 letter to the congressional delegation, Inslee noted that if Congress does not take swift action, the Health Care Authority will need to send notice to impacted families by Dec. 1 to provide them time to make alternative arrangements for health care coverage.
“On behalf of these families, I once again urge you to take swift action to restore the funding for this program, which helps ensure all children in Washington have access to the health care they need to grow and thrive, including preventive care such as immunizations and developmental screenings,” Insee said.
Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to reauthorize CHIP for five years. A congressional committee was scheduled to begin considering that bill this week.