Approximately 400,000 children in Texas rely on the Children’s Health Insurance Program for access to comprehensive and affordable health insurance. CHIP is a federal-state partnership in which the federal government provides states with matching funds to cover uninsured children in low-income families that do not qualify for Medicaid.
Although the program is authorized through 2019, federal funding for the program expired on Sept. 30. In late December 2017, the U.S. Congress approved a $2.85 billion short-term spending package, part of which is allocated to keep CHIP running through March 31. Texas will receive approximately $248 million. If the state exhausts this short-term federal funding before Congress can identify a longer-term funding solution, Texas can use approximately $135 million in previously redistributed federal CHIP funds to temporarily continue the program. The state requested the special distribution from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in November 2017.
Texas hospitals support H.R. 3922, the Championing Healthy Kids Act, which would reauthorize CHIP funding for five years and delay cuts to Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payments until 2019.
If passed, H.R. 3922 would continue federal funding for CHIP through September 2022.