first_imgA program that provides low-cost health coverage for nearly 4,000 Clark County kids is in limbo, and most families who rely on the program are unaware of its uncertain future.The Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, is a partnership between federal and state governments to provide health care for children whose families don’t qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford to purchase a health plan. Federal funding for the program expired Sept. 30, and Congress has failed to reauthorize funding for the program, which historically has had strong bipartisan support.For the last three months, Washington has received redistributed funding — grant money other states didn’t use — to keep the program afloat and ensure the state’s 52,000 children covered by CHIP don’t lose their health coverage. But because of the way the state administers the program, most families aren’t aware that the future of their child’s health care is reliant on Congress taking action — and soon.“We were assuming and hoping it would be funded like it always has been,” said Mary Wood, assistant director of the division for Medicaid eligibility and community support at the Washington Health Care Authority, which oversees the program. “It’s fair to say we’re disappointed.”“We’re hoping and wishing they would act sooner rather than later,” she added.Apple HealthIn Washington, CHIP provides health coverage for children whose families make between 210 and 312 percent of the federal poverty level. Children in families with household incomes below 210 percent of the poverty level are covered by the Medicaid program.last_img

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