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CHIP Could Be Getting More Money

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Families who were denied Chip coverage for their children this year may have a better chance next year. A group of Texas legislators are asking for more money for the State Health Insurance Program.

After last years budget cuts, the Children’s Health Insurance Program had to turn away thousands of families statewide who couldn't afford health insurance for their kids, but that could change in the next legislative session.

State Rep. Fred Brown is staying optimistic about the upcoming session in January and adds, "The economy is doing well and we're not walking in with a $10 billion shortage, which is a nice starting point."

The Health and Human Services Agency, who oversees CHIP, has asked for $411 million to restore services for the insurance program, meaning if they get the funds there will be an increase in the dental and vision program along with more room for those who lost their CHIP benefits last year.

In September, the income requirement was dropped from $43,000 to the mid-30s to get more kids enrolled.

Brown says, "We wanted to include more kids whose parents can't afford medical insurance for them."

CHIP enrollment numbers have gone down in just one year, statewide and locally. CHIP offers a better match of federal dollars to state expenditures. Right now, Texas has no choice but to move recipients from CHIP to Medicaid if they qualify.

If the bill passes, those who were most affected by the budget cuts could have the opportunity to get back on the CHIP program.