HHS Releases $6 Billion For CHIP Health Insurance Program

Child Health Insurance
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There will now be another $6 billion in new federal funds available to states and U.S. territories to use for CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). These added funds for 2009 come from the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) which President Barack Obama signed into law on February 4.

The additional funding through CHIPRA is expected to provide health insurance to 11 million children including 4 million who were previously without health insurance coverage. This will be very helpful to families during the current difficult economic times.

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Health and Human Services (HHS) has released more than $1 billion of the $6 billion new funding and expects to allocate the remainder to the states and territories by the end of September.

CHIP provides health insurance for children of working families whose incomes are too high for traditional Medicaid, but too low for either employer-sponsored family plans or other private coverage. CHIP is an optional program which each state and territory operates. It is similar to Medicaid in that it is jointly funded by states and the federal government. It is different from Medicaid in that the federal government pays states a higher share of their CHIP costs than for their Medicaid programs.

This additional funding will allow states to continue child health insurance programs in place and add on new uninsured children.

A list of funding by state for CHIP programs can be viewed at:
www.insurekidsnow.gov.

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