Right now, 11 states are preparing to notify parents whose children are covered under a federal children’s health insurance program that they may lose coverage without immediate action from Congress.
Officials in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Utah are preparing to send cancellation letters to enrollees in their state, letting them know they’re running out of cash for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by year’s end. Meanwhile, Minnesota, Florida, New York, Virginia and West Virginia are expected to run out of funds by January.
CHIP provides essential healthcare services to children whose families either don't receive health insurance coverage from their employer, or don't earn enough money to afford coverage on their own. Federal funding for the program expired on September 30, leaving states to rely on unspent money to keep coverage going.
Across the country, nearly nine million children in working families rely on CHIP for essential wellness visits, screenings and immunizations. CHIP’s lowers premiums and out-of-pocket costs ensures parents can afford health insurance for their kids.
So, what can you do to ensure millions of children don’t lose essential healthcare? Contact your member of Congress and let them know kids and families can’t wait. Urge lawmakers to continue to support CHIP by reauthorizing the program funding through 2022.
Healthcare coverage is vital for all Americans, and United Way is committed to ensuring everyone has access to affordable care. Enrollment for the 2018 healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act kicked off yesterday and runs through December 15. To sign up, visit www.healthcare.gov or make an in-person appointment with an expert in your area to get free help with the process. You can also contact your local 2-1-1 by phone, or at www.211.org, for information about additional resources available to help you find and sign up for health insurance.
Our future depends on expanding access to quality healthcare so people are healthier and communities are more resilient. Let’s ensure that everyone in our community has the essential health coverage they need and deserve.