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Status Of Insurance Program For Children Remains In Question

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Health insurance for thousands of children in Connecticut could soon disappear.

That’s because Congress failed to meet a September 30th deadline to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.

Each year, CHIP provides tens of millions of dollars in health care money to children and teenagers in low-to-moderate-income Connecticut families.

Karen Siegel, a health policy fellow from Connecticut Voices for Children, said there are bills in both the House and Senate to reauthorize CHIP funding. But a lot is still up in the air.

“It really is a bipartisan program and it has been from its inception. So there was a lot of hope that this would be quickly resolved,” Siegel said. “The fact that we have missed the deadline and are still uncertain about when a bill might pass and what it would look like, I think, is real cause for concern.”

In a statement, the state Department of Social Services said if Congress does not extend CHIP funding, the state has enough money to continue the program only into January or February of next year.

Connecticut’s CHIP Program, known as HUSKY B, is currently covering over 17,000 children and teenagers in the state.

Funding for WNPR's Health Equity and Access Project is provided by the Connecticut Health Foundation.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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