What is SCHIP?
SCHIP—the State Children's Health
Insurance Program—is one of the most successful programs ever created by
the federal government. Created in 1997, it leverages federal and state
dollars ($2 from the federal government for every $1 spent by the
state) to fund health coverage for low-income children whose families
make too much to qualify for Medicaid but who can't afford private
insurance. Because of SCHIP, the number of uninsured children in this
country fell by more than one-third between 1997 and 2005.
How does SCHIP work?
Each state has the flexibility to
create its own SCHIP structure, eligibility criteria and benefit
package. Colorado's SCHIP plan, the Child Health Plan Plus (
CHP +), covers children between 100-200% of the federal poverty level,
or up to about $40,000 annual income for a family of four. Low-income
pregnant women can also enroll in the plan. Depending on income, some
families pay an annual enrollment fee and co-pays. CHP + covers basic
medical and dental services.
How many children are covered by Colorado 's SCHIP plan, the Child Health Plan Plus ( CHP +)?
CHP + enrollment varies monthly; as
of January, 2007, nearly 50,000 children and more than 1,300 pregnant
women were enrolled in the plan.
Why is SCHIP an issue now?
2007 is the final year of SCHIP's
original 10-year authorization. Congress must both reauthorize and fund
the program adequately. However, President Bush's proposed budget
freezes SCHIP funding at 2007 levels. That level of funding will not be
sufficient to cover the anticipated growth in CHP + over the next five
What are the implications for Colorado and CHP +?
We know that there are about twice
as many Colorado kids who are eligible for CHP + as are enrolled. In
order to enroll all those currently eligible children—let alone expand
coverage to more uninsured low-income kids—we need to know that SCHIP
funding will be stable. Congress has to do the right thing in order for
Colorado to do things right.
What does the Colorado SCHIP Coalition support?
- Provide the SCHIP funding needed to cover all children who are eligible but not enrolled.
- Seek SCHIP funding sources that do not endanger other health programs; do not cut Medicaid in order to fund SCHIP.
- Eliminate red tape and other barriers that prevent eligible children from getting or staying covered.
- Promote coverage that facilitates the healthy development of children.
Who is participating in the Colorado SCHIP Coalition?
The Coalition includes approximately 35 organizations representing providers, advocates, foundations and the business community.
How can I/my organization get involved?
Contact Lorez Meinhold, program officer, The Colorado Health Foundation, (303) 953-3633 or lmeinhold@ColoradoHealth.org.
Click here for these questions and answers in a word document
Help us preserve affordable health insurance for Colorado 's kids!
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