Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Cory Gardner (R) cosponsored the Keeping Kids' Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act, bipartisan legislation to ensure stability for vulnerable children by extending funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years. The bill would also, over time, transition CHIP to a traditional federal-state partnership and provide additional protections for low-income children and flexibility for states.
Funding for CHIP expired on September 30, 2017. Without its reauthorization, 90,000 children and 600 pregnant women risk losing coverage in Colorado. According to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), Colorado has sufficient funds for the program through the end of January, 2018.
"CHIP is too essential to too many families for us to delay any further," Bennet said. "This bill would extend CHIP funding for the next five years, ensuring Colorado's children and expecting mothers who depend on the program retain access to care. We urge our colleagues to support this legislation and see that it passes for the sake of families across the country."
"I've cosponsored legislation to reauthorize CHIP funding through 2022, and I'm urging my Senate colleagues to move quickly on this bipartisan issue," Gardner said. "Senator Bennet and I have been very vocal about the need to address this, and it appears there's a path forward to creating long-term certainty for a program that roughly 90,000 Colorado children and pregnant mothers utilize."
The Keeping Kids' Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act would:
- Extend CHIP funding through Fiscal Year (FY) 2022;
- Maintain federal matching rate at current statutory levels through FY 2019, change to 11.5 percent for FY 2020, and return to a traditional CHIP matching rate for fiscal years 2021 and 2022; and
- Create protections and flexibility under the maintenance-of-effort provision.
Click HERE for a copy of the bill.