Iowa Can Continue Funding CHIP Through March 2018

Oct 5, 2017

Iowa has enough money through March to continue providing health care to children from moderate and low income families, while Congress figures out how to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

The program provides healthcare to nearly 9 million children nationwide, including 60,000 in Iowa. States structure CHIP programs differently, which means funding will run out in different places at different intervals.

The 20-year-old program lapsed over the weekend.  It enjoys bipartisan support, though it’s not clear how Democrats and Republicans in Congress will compromise on future CHIP funding.

"If CHIP funding were not to be reauthorized there would be serious policy and fiscal implications," says Matt Highland, spokesman for Iowa Medicaid Enterprise. "However at this point we do want to stress to our members and kids in Iowa that they currently are not at risk of losing their health coverage, there still is time for Congress to act."

While Iowa doesn’t have to worry about CHIP reauthorization any time soon, several states, including Minnesota, are projected to exhaust funding by the end of the year.

Under CHIP coverage, children received routine check-ups, dental and vision care, prescriptions, immunizations, and hospital care, along with laboratory, X-ray and emergency services.