More than 75 groups and individuals support CHIP in Colorado

The 2017 Colorado CHIP Coalition delivered a letter to the members of the Colorado Congressional delegation this week, urging their attention to and support for funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). More than 75 groups and individuals signed on to the letter. During the Senate Finance Committee hearing on CHIP yesterday, Sen. Michael Bennet referenced the letter and asked that it be entered into the record.

If Congress fails to act by Sept. 30, Colorado could lose federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) in Colorado, which serves about 90,000 kids and pregnant women in the state.[1] If financing is not extended, coverage losses will start in early 2018.

For decades, CHIP has ensured that children in thousands of working families in Colorado have access to quality affordable health care. The program serves families that make too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to afford health care in the private market. With CHIP, these families are able to purchase health insurance for their children with one low annual fee and co-pays that are based on a sliding scale.

We are urging Congress to extend funding for the CHIP program for five years at current funding levels. Extending funding for five years will provide a stable source of coverage for working families during a time of uncertainty about the future of health coverage options. A five-year extension will also give policy makers time to develop policies that ensure continued quality, affordable health coverage for kids and pregnant women and allow for greater budget certainty for states.

If you are interested in joining the 2017 Colorado CHIP Coalition, please contact Sarah Barnes at sarahb@coloradokids.org.

[1] Roughly 90,000 kids and pregnant women had coverage in Colorado’s CHIP program (CHP+) sometime during the 2015-2016 fiscal year. This number is slightly higher than HCPF’s reported monthly caseload numbers, which use point-in-time estimates. Since some clients lose eligibility and others gain eligibility throughout the year, the number here is higher than the number of children being served during any one month during the year.

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