This week the Children’s Campaign and more than a dozen other child health advocates submitted a letter to a Congressional advisory group on the future of children’s health coverage. The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) requested stakeholder comment on how well marketplace health plans address the needs of children in our state and the greatest areas of concern with transitions of kids from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to health plans available in the marketplace.
In the letter, advocates emphasized the importance of continued funding of CHIP for an additional four years to allow states to navigate the transition for children currently enrolled in CHIP plans to other high quality coverage options if CHIP is no longer available. Funding for CHIP will expire in September 2015 unless Congress acts to extend it. At any given time, more than 55,000 Colorado children rely on Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), Colorado’s CHIP plan, for their health coverage.
Studies have shown that in every state analyzed, including Colorado, state CHIP plans are more affordable than health plans offered through marketplaces. In addition, the benefit structure of CHIP plans are uniquely designed to serve children, particularly those with special healthcare needs. The adequacy and appropriateness of provider networks for children under marketplace plans also varies greatly.
For these reasons, advocates are concerned about continuity of high quality coverage for children in Colorado unless Congress takes action to extend CHIP funding. We look forward to working with state officials to ensure that all Colorado kids have quality, affordable coverage that is convenient and comfortable for families to access and use. Learn more about the importance of CHIP in Colorado and read stories of families benefitting from it.