Washington, D.C. – As American families struggle with health care costs during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is introducing the Children’s Health Insurance Program Pandemic Enhancement and Relief (CHIPPER) Act to continue support for state Children's Health Insurance Programs during the public health emergency. This legislation would extend enhanced federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for an extra year for states that take certain steps to bolster their CHIP programs. Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Susan Wild (D-PA-7) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1).
“CHIP is an essential lifeline for millions of families across the Nation and it’s critical that we ensure sustained support for those families,” said Senator Casey. “During this pandemic, it is especially important that CHIP funding is bolstered and that the program is responsive to increased need. CHIP provides health insurance to roughly 270,000 children throughout Pennsylvania each year – we need to guarantee that the program continues to support them during these challenging times.”
Absent action by Congress, states will see federal reimbursement decline by 11.5 percent on October 1, meaning that federal support for the CHIP program could decrease during a pandemic. The CHIPPER Act would extend the current CHIP funding rate for an extra year for states that take proactive steps to maintain and expand children’s health insurance coverage, such as eliminate waiting periods for CHIP enrollment and actively seek to re-enroll children who were previously removed from the program.
Read more about the CHIPPER Act here.