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Understanding CHIP

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides low-cost insurance converge to children in families who earn too much money to qualify for state Medicaid. If your child(ren) are eligible for CHIP, you do not have to purchase an insurance plan to cover them. Each state has its own rules and guidelines, but the CHIP program works closely with the state’s Medicaid program.

The funding for the program expired on September 30 and in recent actions by Congress, short-term funding for CHIP will again expire at the end of January. A new budget was proposed last week.

“The Congressional Budget Office says a Senate bill adding five years of financing to the program would cost $800 million. Previously, the analysts estimated it would cost $8.2 billion.” –Associated Press

What CHIP covers.

CHIP benefits are different in each state. But all states provide comprehensive coverage, including:

  • Routine check-ups
  • Immunizations
  • Doctor visits
  • Prescriptions
  • Dental and vision care
  • Inpatient and outpatient hospital care
  • Laboratory and X-ray services
  • Emergency services

There is no cost for routine ‘well-child’ doctor and dental visits under CHIP. However, there may be co-payments for other services. In addition, some states charge a monthly premium for CHIP coverage but you will never pay more than 5% of your families’ yearly income.

 

Medicaid Waiver Amendments Passed in Utah Senate

Recently, the Utah Senate voted in favor of SB  0172, authorizing some changes and waivers to Medicaid requirements.

These changes would allow the Utah Department of Health to:

Ask for federal funds or block grants for Medicaid recipients without certain restrictions on how they use the money.

Second, if the block grant is denied, the bill would allow the health department to do three things:

  1. Require able-bodied Medicaid enrollees to have a job or be working toward a job
  2. Create an HSA option for Medicaid enrollees
  3. Enable Medicaid enrollees flexibility in paying for health care

The goal is allow able-bodied people on Medicaid to live more dignified and and give them the tools to to assist them in no longer needing to rely on the program.

 

Source: Sutherland Institute