KidsCare Still in Flux

Last week Senators Hatch and Wyden introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorizethe Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)- which is the parent ofArizona’s KidsCare program.

The Bill (called S.1827) proposes a 5-year reauthorization of the program and maintaining the current 23% increase in the federal matching funds rate through FY 2019, but reducing thematching rate in FY 2020… and returning to the standard state-federalmatching rate in FY 2021-2022.

While it looks like this reauthorization bill won’t be voted in this week, it’s not dead.  It can still be approved in thecoming weeks.  The lack of a reauthorization introduces some uncertainty to states (all 50 states have a CHIP program) butas long as it gets voted on in the near future most states will probably holdfast and keep the program going for the time-being.

The issue in the long-run is that the Hatch/Wyden bill drops the federal matching rate in FY 2020 below the threshold that’s wired into state law for fundingAZ’s share of the program.  But, that’s something that could be changed in either the 2018 or 2019 AZ Legislative Sessions.