Nevada Awaits Funding For Children's Health Insurance Program

Nov 29, 2017

Credit The National Council

Updated on November 30, 2017:

Governor Brian Sandoval’s office issued a press release announcing that the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services will be receiving about $5.6 million from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS. The money will help to keep the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, afloat for a short time while Congress considers passing a bill to reauthorize funding for the program. Without it, Nevada’s CHIP program would have run out of money by December 15th.

 

The money Nevada will be receiving is a redistribution of funds that have been previously unspent  by some states. That money is then redistributed to states that ask for help and demonstrate a need.

 

Sandoval is urging Nevada’s federal delegation to support reauthorizing the health insurance program aimed at helping low-income children. There are about 27,000 children enrolled in the state’s CHIP program and more than 13,000 additional children are on Medicaid.

 

“More than 40,000 children in Nevada depend on CHIP for medical insurance to meet their individual healthcare needs. This includes children who are currently receiving treatment for serious medical conditions which will be jeopardized without Congressional action,” Sandoval said.

Story published on November 29, 2017:

The Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, serves the nation’s low-income children. About 27,000 children are currently enrolled in Nevada’s program, which is running out of federal funding. 

The state’s congressional delegation is asking for more than $11 million to keep the program afloat for a few more months. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports.

Back in September, Congress failed to meet the deadline to reauthorize funding. The state is asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to help fund the program run through February. Officials expect to hear back soon.

State health policy expert John Packham says that even if the request came through, it would be a temporary fix.

“Not only a band-aid solution," Packham, "but some of the proposals being considered by both the both the Senate and the House right now are band-aid proposals in the sense that they are looking to fund the extension and reauthorization of CHIP by taking away other health programs.”

Packham says the offset could raise Medicare premiums and impact programs that promote public health and disease prevention.  

Earlier this month, the House finally voted to reauthorize funding for CHIP. The bill now heads to the Senate.