KidsCare in Limbo

Funding for KidsCare (CHIP) expired last week.  This program (run by AHCCCS) currently covers about 23,000 kids with a pretty good set of benefits and reasonable premiums.  It’s only available for kids in families that don’t qualify for regular Medicaid and who live in a family that makes under 200% of poverty.

Even though the program hasn’t been reauthorized by the October 1 deadline, most states have reserved enough funding for the next three months. AHCCCS apparently has funding to continue the for a few weeks past the October 1 expiration date.

There is light on the horizon. The Senate Finance Committee introduced a CHIP funding proposal (Hatch/ Wyden) that would extend funding to states through FY 2022 but gradually reduce federal contributions. 

Enough matching funds would remain for Arizona to keep the program as-is through FY 2019 but after that our KidsCare program could be at risk because the federal contribution will be less than what’s currently wired into state law for funding AZ’s share of the program. 

But, that’s something that could be changed in either the 2018 or 2019 AZ Legislative Sessions.