Federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is set to end on September 30, 2017 without Congressional action. In December 2016, The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) surveyed state CHIP officials to learn about any recent changes in their CHIP programs and how states are budgeting and planning for CHIP considering its uncertain future.
NASHP surveyed CHIP officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia; in total 40 states responded to the survey (although not every state answered each question). Respondents included states that operate separate CHIP programs, Medicaid expansion CHIP programs, or both. The survey is intended to provide an overall snapshot of state budgeting and planning given the current context of program funding uncertainty, but does not identify specific state responses.
Key highlights from the survey include:
- The majority of proposed state budgets (33 out of 40 states) assume that federal funding for the CHIP program will continue.
- States indicated needing to know about the status of federal CHIP funding early in 2017 to begin any necessary planning efforts, this is similar to results from NASHP’s 2015 survey.
- Sixteen out of 35 respondents indicated that some initial discussions within their state agencies had occurred regarding the potential implications on children’s coverage if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed and/or if Congress implements Medicaid financing changes. These considerations included coverage access issues as well as possible financial, operational, and clinical/delivery system impacts.
- Despite federal funding uncertainty for CHIP, a small but notable proportion of CHIP officials reported that their states implemented program changes in 2016 or are considering them for 2017. Some of these state officials indicated that the ACA’s increased federal funding for the program that went into effect in October 2015 (known as the 23 percent bump) was a factor for these decisions.