Study: 8M children face losing coverage if federal funding for CHIP not extended

If federal officials do not extend funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program beyond 2017, more than 8 million children may face coverage disruption, according to a study published in Health Affairs.

Researchers from New Haven, Conn.-based Yale School of Medicine analyzed how two policy changes — either extending CHIP funding or enrolling children in health plans through the ACA exchanges due to lack of CHIP funding — would affect children's coverage and their families' out-of-pocket expenses.

Study authors used data from CHIP and ACA exchange plans to identify a nationally representative cohort of children with chronic conditions. From this population, they gauged out-of-pocket expenses for children at four different income levels for each U.S. state.

Researchers found if chronically ill children have to enroll in an exchange plan, out-of-pocket costs could increase between $233 for the lowest income levels to $2,472 for the highest income level. In addition, the authors said families whose children have epilepsy, diabetes or mood disorders could face the largest changes in out-of-pocket expenses.  

The authors concluded: "Absent enhancements to marketplace cost-sharing protections, and given recent efforts to repeal the ACA, renewing funding for CHIP will provide the greatest financial protections to families of income-eligible children with chronic conditions." 

More articles on payer issues:
CHI Health joins BCBS of Nebraska's Medicare network
Kansas, other states pursue Medicaid expansion following AHCA withdrawal
Highmark names Dr. Charles DeShazer CMO 

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