ROSEN LEADS BIPARTISAN EFFORT URGING CMS ADMINISTRATOR TO IMMEDIATELY FUND NEVADA’S CHIP PROGRAM
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (NV-03) led a bipartisan letter with House members from Nevada’s Congressional delegation urging CMS Administrator Seema Verma to immediately fund Nevada’s Check Up Program, also known as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), so that it continues through February 2018. The CHIP program expired on September 30, 2017.
“I am outraged that Congressional inaction could result in tens of thousands of vulnerable children in Nevada losing access to health care,” said Rosen. “Nevada is among a handful of states that will be first to run out of CHIP funding, and I will not stand by to see our children denied coverage. Our delegation in the House is united in urging the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to approve Nevada’s request to redistribute funding and keep our CHIP program running. Nevada is facing a rapidly approaching coverage cliff and cannot afford any further delay on this critical funding.”
BACKGROUND: The Children’s Health Insurance Program was first signed into law in 1997 and provides federal matching funds to states to provide health coverage to children in families who don't qualify for Medicaid but can't afford private coverage. In Nevada, children living in households with an annual income of up to 200% of the federal poverty level may qualify for coverage through Nevada Check Up. Nearly 69,000 Nevada children received medical coverage through Nevada Check Up or CHIP this year.
Read text of the letter here or below:
November 21, 2017
The Honorable Seema Verma
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21244
Dear Administrator Verma:
We write in strong support of the State of Nevada’s request for $11.3 million in funding for its Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Nevada Check Up. Following the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) decision to provide financial assistance to several other states to buttress their endangered CHIP-funded programs, it is both appropriate and necessary for CMS to provide CHIP redistribution funds to Nevada as soon as possible.
Inaction by congressional leadership in both chambers has threatened the health care coverage of Nevada’s most vulnerable residents – its low-income children. As you are aware, over the protestations of the Nevada Delegation, federal authorization of CHIP was allowed to lapse at the end of September 2017, putting at risk the future of children’s health programs across the country. At this very moment, about 27,000 Nevada children from low-income families are in peril of losing their health care by the end of the year if Congress and the Administration do not act. Over the last twelve months, nearly 69,000 Nevada children have benefited from access to health care coverage through the federally-supported Nevada Check Up program, which may begin to fold by year’s end without additional funds.
The State of Nevada recently submitted a request to CMS for $11.3 million in redistribution funds to allow Nevada Check Up to continue operating through February 2018. This urgent request is necessary to prevent dire coverage gaps for Nevada’s children. With nearly $3 billion in unspent CHIP dollars available to CMS to distribute to states in need, there is no reason to deny assistance to Nevada’s children. We implore you to approve Nevada’s request for CHIP distributions funds without delay.
We thank you for your immediate attention to this critical issue. Tens of thousands of children in Nevada are counting on CMS to shore up this vital health insurance program before the rapidly approaching coverage cliff.