On Sept. 18, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced S. 1827, the Keep Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act, legislation aimed at ensuring uninterrupted funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through fiscal year (FY) 2022. The bill does tweak the funding formulas, however. Specifically, the KIDS Act would maintain the federal matching rate at current levels through FY 2019, changing to 11.5 percent for FY 2020, and returning to a traditional CHIP matching rate for FY 2021 and 2022.
CHIP provides comprehensive coverage, including dental, for children from families who do not qualify for Medicaid, but cannot afford private insurance. In 2016, more than one in eight children in the U.S., or 8.9 million, were covered by CHIP.
The House has yet to put forward a proposal. Absent Congressional action, funding for CHIP will run out on Sept. 30, 2017.
Impact on General Dentistry: The AGD will continue to monitor negotiations and encourage lawmakers to extend funding for CHIP. The AGD also encourages members to weigh in with their Representatives and Senators in support of extending funding for CHIP by visiting the AGD’s action page, available here.