On Dec. 21, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) bill to keep the federal government operational through Jan. 19, 2018, and it includes new, short-term federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Specifically, the CR:
- Provides $2.85 billion in new federal allotments to states for CHIP for the period from Oct. 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018.
- Extends the CHIP redistribution special rule for allocating existing funds to certain shortfall states through the first half of FFY 2018. This special rule is known as the “CHIP fix” and was originally established in the Dec. 8 CR.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided information about each state’s preliminary allotment amounts from the $2.85 billion in new federal CHIP funding. However, while there is new federal CHIP funding for states with the extension of the Dec. 8 reallocation of the redistribution funding and differing rates of state spending in their CHIP programs, it is unclear how long these new CR provisions in combination will actually allow all states to continue operating their CHIP programs.
Discussions about providing a longer-term funding extension for CHIP could be a part of the funding package that would need to pass by Jan. 19, 2018, to keep the federal government operating. NASHP will be watching Congressional action closely and will provide updates in the coming weeks.
(Note: An earlier version of the CR introduced in the House on Dec. 13 had contained a five-year funding extension for CHIP.)