The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health insurance for 8.9 million children through Medicaid and separate CHIP programs administered by the states. For children in working families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to purchase private health insurance, CHIP is a lifeline to medical care. Income eligibility standards and CHIP benefits vary by state because states have flexibility to design their own programs.
Since CHIP was established in 1997, the uninsurance rate for children has fallen by 68 percent, and millions of children have gained access to high-quality, affordable health insurance. For many children with epilepsy, CHIP makes it possible to access high-quality epilepsy care, without high co-pays or deductibles.
Current CHIP funding expired on September 30, 2017. If the program is not reauthorized soon, more than half of states will likely run out of CHIP funding by March 2018, forcing funding and eligibility cuts. Swift Congressional action is needed to ensure that CHIP coverage is not disrupted.
The Epilepsy Foundation has sent several letters to Congress urging members to immediately prioritize reauthorization of CHIP and will continue to advocate for funding of the program.