Congress to Miss CHIP Reauthorization Deadline, Proposals Still Under Consideration

With funding set to expire this Sunday, October 1, both the Senate and House will not pass a reauthorization measure in time for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). By missing the deadline for reauthorization, states may soon have to notify families whose children are covered by the program that they may lose coverage. While members of Congress have indicated most states have adequate carry-over funds to keep their state programs running until the end of the year, states and child health advocates are increasingly worried about the absence of a reauthorization measure from Congress.

Earlier this month, the Senate Finance Committee reached a bipartisan agreement on a $35 billion five-year extension of the CHIP Program. The bill (S. 1827), however, has yet to be marked up by any Senate committee. On the other side, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has not yet reached a deal on reauthorizing or extending funding of the program. Bipartisan negotiations have been occurring in the House committee, though efforts have been delayed by the recent pursuit of the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal proposal.

CHIP is a joint federal-state program that provides insurance to more than two million low-income children and pregnant women in California. The program was last reauthorized by Congress in 2015.