The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission is recommending that Congress provide five additional years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program next year.
The nonpartisan body, which advises Congress on issues affecting Medicaid and CHIP, is urging lawmakers to extend funding for the program through 2022. The CHIP program provides health insurance for children in families whose incomes don’t qualify for Medicaid. Extending funding for the program is considered “must-pass legislation” next year by most on Capitol Hill.
“CHIP, which historically has enjoyed bipartisan support, has successfully provided health insurance to millions of children whose families could not otherwise afford it,” MACPAC Chair Sara Rosenbaum said in a statement. “The Commission’s recommendations not only protect children from losing health coverage but also recognize the important role states play as laboratories for innovation.”
The group also recommends that Congress create a grant program for states to test new coverage systems, ending waiting periods to minimize potential gaps in coverage and permanently extending states’ abilities to use “Express Lane Eligibility” to streamline the application process.