January 15,2009

The CHIP Reauthorization Act Of 2009: Keeping America’s Children Healthy

Keeping America's Children Healthy

The Children’s Health Insurance Program provides health coverage to children of working parents who don’t qualify for Medicaid, but who can’t afford private health insurance. The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act will renew the program and enact the significant improvements detailed below.

Investing in Health Coverage for Uninsured, Low-Income American Children

  • The bill provides $31.5 billion in additional funding over four and a half years.

Keeping Covered Kids Covered, Reaching More Low-Income Kids

  • All 6.7 million children currently covered by CHIP will keep their coverage.
  • 3.9 million additional uninsured, low-income children will receive coverage.
  • Investment in outreach efforts will help states find and enroll additional children eligible for public health programs but not enrolled in them.

State Flexibility Lets CHIP Reach Families in Need

  • States will retain the flexibility to set eligibility levels based on cost of living.
  • States offering new coverage above 300 percent of the Federal poverty level will receive lower Medicaid match for that coverage.

Keeping CHIP Focused on Kids

  • Funding for CHIP coverage of childless adults will end at the close of 2009.
  • Funding for existing coverage of low-income parents will transition to a lower Federal matching rate. Administration cannot issue waivers to allow new CHIP coverage of parents.
  • States will have the option to cover pregnant women under CHIP, to ensure the prenatal care vital to the birth of healthy babies.

Expanding Coverage Options for Low-Income Families

  • States may designate CHIP funds to help families afford private coverage offered by employers or other sources.

Responsibly Funding Children’s Health

  • Will include 61-cent increase in Federal tax on cigarettes, with proportional increases for other tobacco products.