Public Sector Coverage: CHIP

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), enacted in 1997 and reauthorized in 2009, provides health insurance coverage to 8 million children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid but unable to afford coverage in the private market.1 Like Medicaid, CHIP is administered by the states but jointly funded by the states and the federal government. The Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) of 2009 provided additional funding to the program as well as for a national outreach campaign to reach and enroll children who are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP. In 2010, the ACA further expanded and supported CHIP by:

  • Extending federal funding for the program through September 30, 2015;
  • Increasing the CHIP matching rate by 23 percentage points on October 1, 2015;
  • Providing an additional $40 million in federal funds to promote Medicaid and CHIP outreach. To date, $90 million has been awarded in grants to states, local governments, and community-based and non-profit organizations to support outreach and enrollment activities; and
  • Permitting states to receive federal matching funds for coverage of children of state employees through CHIP if the state meets certain criteria.

While CHIP is largely considered a successful program for children, its funding past 2015 is uncertain. Furthermore, because a new Medicaid minimum level of coverage was established for children, states with separate-CHIP programs will need to transition children with incomes between 100 and 133 percent of the FPL to Medicaid.

NASHP Resources

NASHP’s State CHIP Fact Sheets include enrollment data, participation rates, eligibility and cost-sharing requirements, enrollment and renewal simplifications, and other state program highlights.

The Future of CHIP and Children’s Coverage: This May 2012 NASHP webinar discusses considerations for policymakers for children’s coverage options beyond 2014.

Other Resources

Kaiser Family Foundation’s StateHealth Facts on CHIP Programs includes information on CHIP program type and data on enrollment trends and federal matching rates.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services houses CHIP State Plans and Amendments.