NBC12 Viewpoint: Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

NBC12 Viewpoint: Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

By: Kym Grinnage - email

When someone says "chip" many of us will think of the snack we use for dips. The CHIP I am referring to is the Children's Health Insurance Program.

As Congress continues to decide what will ultimately happen to this health insurance program that insures 65,000 children and 1,100 pregnant women in the state, Virginia has to come up with an alternative plan.

The Department of Medical Assistance or DMAS has to be ready by the beginning of December to give families 60 days notice that their children will no longer be covered by this program. The money for this program is scheduled to run out by the end of January.

CHIP is one of those programs that has received overwhelming bi-partisan support in the past. And that is what needs to happen soon, in order for this program to be saved.

If the Congress does not approve this program, then the state will have to pick up this $52 million bill in 2018 or thousands of children will lose their coverage.

This is not just a Virginia problem -- it is a problem spread across 32 states. Both the House and the Senate have bills that would extend CHIP for another five years, but no vote or debate is scheduled at this time.

Call your Representative and ask them where they stand with CHIP.

Copyright 2017 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.