CHIP Reauthorization Update: Congressional Inaction Puts States in Limbo

Federal authorization for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expired on September 30, 2017. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have filed a bill to extend CHIP for five years, but Congress did not act quickly enough to prevent the current authorization from expiring. Unspent federal CHIP funds may be carried over into the next fiscal year and Massachusetts’s current allotment of federal CHIP funds should allow the state to continue to use CHIP funds for benefits until early 2018. However, we have now entered a policy limbo in which states are hopeful for reauthorization but must also determine other coverage options for children if funds run out.

As follow up to the Foundation’s June report, The Importance of CHIP Reauthorization for Massachusetts, this brief provides an update on the status of federal reauthorization for CHIP and a summary of its potential impact on the program in Massachusetts.