In January, after months of delay, Congress extended funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP provides health coverage to nearly nine million children, including many Latino children, who might otherwise remain uninsured. Now that CHIP has been extended for 10 more years, these children will continue to have access to quality health coverage and care, and their families will have the support they need to be financially secure.
WHO DOES CHIP HELP?
CHIP helps working families—who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private insurance—secure quality, affordable health coverage and care for their children. Thanks to CHIP, children with special health needs such as poor hearing, poor sight, and mental health issues can get the care they need to grow up healthy.
Not only does CHIP help keep our children healthy today, the program provides long-term educational and economic benefits. Research demonstrates that children who are covered in programs like CHIP are more likely to graduate high school and have greater economic opportunity as adults.
WHAT IS CHIP’S IMPACT ON LATINO CHILDREN’S COVERAGE?
CHIP is especially important for our community, as Latino children are more likely to be enrolled in programs like Medicaid and CHIP than any other group. Thanks in large part to CHIP, the Latino child uninsured rate has declined by nearly three quarters—from 28.6% in 1997, when CHIP was implemented, to 7.5% today.
HOW DOES CHIP HELP COMMUNITIES STAY HEALTHY AND FINANCIALLY SECURE?
Along with many of our Affiliates, UnidosUS continues to protect and strengthen CHIP. In January, while CHIP funding remained at-risk state programs faced dwindling funds and were preparing to send out cancelation notices to families, Maria Gomez, from Mary’s Center in Washington, DC, spoke out on the importance of CHIP to keep our children and families healthy and financially secure:
“About one-third of our children at the health center are on CHIP, a program that allows for parents to have a sustainable income so that a family doesn’t end up homeless, that they are able to put nutritious food on the table…all while having an insurance card to receive preventive services and catch any problems early,” she said.
In January nine million children were at-risk of losing their health coverage. Now that CHIP has been extended for ten more years, millions of children can continue to get the care they need to grow up healthy, and their families can breathe a sigh of relief.
Medicaid and CHIP coverage is available throughout the year. To enroll your child in Medicaid or CHIP coverage head to insurekidsnow.gov or call 1-877-543-7669.