October 4, 2017, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee approved a bill that would
reauthorize federal funding through FFY 2022 for the Children’s Health
Insurance Program (CHIP), a program that currently serves over nine million
low-income children. New funding authorization for CHIP expired on September
30, 2017. For now, states are operating CHIP on federal allotments left over
from prior years. Those reserves vary widely from state to state.
new Senate bill would extend through FFY 2019 a 23 percentage point increase in
the CHIP federal matching rate that was enacted as part of the Affordable Care
Act (ACA). The Senate bill would cut that increase in half in FFY 2020 and
eliminate that increase in FFY 2021. But it would extend through FFY 2022 the
child enrollment contingency fund as well as the Express Lane eligibility
option, through which states can use income data from other programs to
determine CHIP eligibility.
U.S. House of Representatives is considering a similar CHIP reauthorization
bill which, in addition, would delay $2 billion in cuts to Medicaid
disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payment allotments scheduled for FFY
2018. The House bill would delay the Medicaid DSH cuts until FFY 2019. The
House Energy and Commerce Committee cleared that bill on October 4, 2017.
enacted, the Senate and House bills would have major, immediate implications
for state Medicaid/CHIP budgets and program operations. PCG will monitor