Two More Years: What Does Continued CHIP Funding Mean for California?

Eugene Lewit, Stanford University

Signed into law on April 16, 2015, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act continues federal funding of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for two more years without structural changes or rollbacks in CHIP or Medicaid.

The new law has significant benefits for California and the 1.6 million low- to moderate-income children and pregnant women who are enrolled in CHIP-funded coverage, as well as the hundreds of thousands of California children who remain uninsured.

The new law continues the favorable climate for growth in coverage levels for California’s children:

  • Renews federal funding for eight programs for low- and moderate-income children and pregnant women
  • Extends Express Lane Eligibility (ELE), a streamlined enrollment process
  • Funds additional outreach and enrollment efforts
  • Reduces California’s share of cost for new enrollees

Congress will revisit the issue of funding for CHIP in 2017.