The head of the Iowa Department of Human Services says the state has the ability to fund the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP, into April.
DHS Director Jerry Foxhoven says he thinks CHIP will be reauthorized, but also notes Congress has been unpredictable. “We have to hope for the best but prepare for the worst, and so we’re trying to develop some contingency plans just in case,” Foxhoven said.
Congress has yet to renew federal funding for the program, which in Iowa, is called “hawk-i.” That stands for Healthly and Well Kids in Iowa. It provides health insurance for about 60,000 kids from low and moderate income families in the state. Foxhoven admits his agency is “not far along” in developing a plan should funding not be restored.
“There’s no question it’ll be a challenge to deal with that if that’s not reauthorized – it’s a lot of kids,” Foxhoven said. Federal funding for CHIP expired at the end of September. Some states are warning families they may have to end the program soon.
(Thanks to Katarina Sostaric, Iowa Public Radio)