This Crucial Health Insurance Program for Kids Just Expired

The exterior of a hospital with "EMERGENCY" spelled out in letter on a marqueeOne of our focuses here at Easterseals is ensuring children of all abilities have the best possible start in life. Through our Make the First Five Count initiative, inclusive childcare, and early intervention programs across the country, we’re committed to providing a solid foundation on which kids can grow and thrive. In addition to the services we provide, we’re also committed to advocating for the resources that make these programs accessible and affordable, like the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

If you’re unfamiliar with CHIP, here’s what you should know*:

  • Approximately 9 million children across the United States are enrolled in CHIP, which covers children in families who are do not qualify for Medicaid;
  • 370,000 pregnant women in 19 states are covered by CHIP;
  • CHIP includes immunizations, check-ups, dental coverage, mental health, and substance abuse services;
  • CHIP was first passed in 1997 with sweeping bipartisan support.

So why are we talking about CHIP now? Because on September 30, 2017, federal funding for CHIP expired.

The implications of this expiration are potentially devastating to millions of families.

In a statement issued by leading child health and advocacy organizations, experts warned “By not acting in a timely manner to extend CHIP funding, Congress has caused [families who rely on CHIP] to face the threat of losing coverage altogether. Moreover, the patchwork of state funding deadlines means that a child’s or pregnant woman’s access to continued CHIP coverage will depend on his or her ZIP code.”

Families across the United States, including many we serve, are facing uncertainty as a result of CHIP’s expiration.

Right now, we need your help to make it loud and clear to Congress that they must extend CHIP through the bipartisan legislation that is part of CHIP’s fabric. Here’s how to join the cause:

  1. Use the hashtag #ExtendChip to reach out to your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives, OR tweet out THIS message:

    A tweet that reads: Nearly 1 in every 2 kids with special #healthcare needs relies on #CHIP & #Medicaid. Take action to #ExtendChip.

  2. Contact Your Members of Congress
    Use our action alert to automatically email your representatives.

Let us know your thoughts about CHIP’s expiration in the comments below.

*Thanks to the American Academy of Pediatrics for their advocacy, talking points, and resources regarding CHIP.


 

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