CHA News Article

Report Outlines Impact of Continued CHIP Funding for California

The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) has released a report that examines the impact of continued and increased federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Signed into law on April 16, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 continues federal CHIP funding for two years without structural changes or rollbacks in CHIP or Medicaid. The new law has significant benefits for California and the 1.6 million low- to moderate-income children and pregnant women who are enrolled in CHIP-funded coverage, as well as hundreds of thousands of California children who remain uninsured.

The law’s principal benefits to California are the continued availability of federal CHIP funds (the state will gain more than $1.1 billion in federal funds over the next two federal fiscal years) to help pay for eight coverage programs for low- to moderate-income children and pregnant women, and a large increase in federal share of costs for these CHIP-funded programs (from 65 percent to 88 percent federal matching assistance percentage). The programs include two full-scope Medicaid programs for low- to moderate- income children (Full-scope Medi-Cal and the Optional Targeted Low-Income Children’s program) and six separate CHIP programs — two for pregnant women not eligible for Medi-Cal; a related program for children under age two with family incomes above the Medi-Cal eligibility level; and three county-based programs for children with family incomes above the Medi-Cal eligibility level.

The new law also extends authorization for Express Lane Eligibility for children’s coverage programs for two years through September 2017, as well as continues two grant programs – designed to support outreach and enrollment efforts for Medicaid and CHIP and to improve the quality of children’s health care – that were launched with the passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act in 2009. Congress will revisit the issue of CHIP funding in 2017.

The full report is available on the CHCF website.