WV Center on Budget and Policy > Blog > Family Economic Security > Congress Should Treat America’s Kids to Good Health Care and Refund CHIP

Congress Should Treat America’s Kids to Good Health Care and Refund CHIP

Want a real scare this Halloween? Imagine having to pay up to ten times more on average for your children’s health care. This is the increased cost estimate if Congress does not reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), according to a study commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The CHIP program provides an affordable health care option for families and tailors benefits to the needs of kids. Defunding CHIP would require parents to enroll their children in Medicaid or purchase insurance on the marketplace for them. Private insurance plans do not offer the strong health benefits that CHIP offers to insure children are growing strong. 

Also, the CHIP program caps out-of-pocket costs at a much lower dollar amount than the marketplace coverage currently offered. Out-of-pocket costs are health care costs not reimbursed by insurance providers. The table below compares the out-of-pocket caps for West Virginian children enrolled in CHIP and the current caps for a qualified health plan (QHP) offered through the marketplace. 

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Source: Wakely Consulting Group, “Comparison of Benefits and Cost Sharing in Children’s Health Insurance Programs to Qualified Health Plans” (July 2014). 

Annual costs estimates include the average cost to families for out-of-pocket costs, deductible, copays, and/or coinsurance.  These estimates illustrate the drastic cost increases West Virginian families could face.

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Source: Wakely Consulting Group, “Comparison of Benefits and Cost Sharing in Children’s Health Insurance Programs to Qualified Health Plans” (July 2014). 

As you can see, the cost difference between CHIP and marketplace coverage is substantial. For many families, marketplace insurance would be unaffordable and as many as 25,000 West Virginian kids could be put be at risk of becoming uninsured. A spooky thought indeed! 

FamiliesUSA has created an easy way to send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to address your concerns about the funding of the CHIP program. Click on the photo below to see draft letters and talking points. 

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I encourage everyone to “haunt” your local newspapers and lawmakers by writing to them in support of continued CHIP funding!

One Response to “Congress Should Treat America’s Kids to Good Health Care and Refund CHIP”

  1. Patrica Grady says:

    CHIPS has been a blessing to so many of my families as a therapist. Otherwise it would be difficult to find trauma informed case geared toward children. I work with the Summers County Child Advocacy Center in WV. I hope the congress will hear our plea

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