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Lorez Meinhold, Colorado SCHIP Coalition
(303) 953-3633 phone

lmeinhold@coloradohealth.org

Background

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 years.

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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Additional Resources:

Why SCHIP matters - the Business Case

Center for Children and Families for additional information on SCHIP

CBO Estimates show large gains in Children's Health Coverage under Senate SCHIP bill

Claims about the emerging children's health insurance legislation: Myth and Reality

What's at Stake for Colorado, Familes USA

Rural Children Increasingly Rely on Medicaid and State Child Health Insurance Programs, Carsey Institute

Colorado Children's Campaign and Colorado Covering Kids and Families fact sheet

Coalition Powerpoint on SCHIP

American Public Health Association Brief on SCHIP

Kaiser Family Foundation Resources on SCHIP

General Assembly Joint Resolution on SCHIP

For more information on CHP+ in Colorado