Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) today introduced the CHIP Stability Act, key legislation that will provide much-needed reassurances and federal funding to Nevada and other states for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

CHIP, which became law 20 years ago, provides medical coverage and care to vulnerable children in Nevada and across the country who otherwise may not get care. The Nevada Checkup program alone provides health care to more than 27,000 children in Nevada.  As current reauthorization funding for CHIP expired on September 30, 2017, Nevada is projected to run out of current funding on December 15, 2017.  Nevada recently received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on its request for redistribution funding for December and tentative approval for January.

“Children’s care should not be held hostage by political disputes, and that’s why I’m pushing Congress to take immediate action and pass my proposal that ensures there is no gap in funding for CHIP,” Heller said. “In states like Nevada, CHIP is a lifeline for thousands of vulnerable children and families. Inaction is not an option. My proposal allows the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to suspend their statutory formula and use all available redistribution funds based on each state’s need so that states are fully-funded through the end of December. I look forward to working with my colleagues to approve this bill quickly so families will have the certainty they need.”

Heller, a member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee which has jurisdiction over CHIP, is also a co-sponsor of the Keeping Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act, bipartisan legislation to ensure stability for Nevada’s vulnerable children by extending funding for CHIP for five years. The CHIP Stability Act is complimentary to the Kids Act, and Senator Heller will continue supporting Chairman Hatch to get it reauthorized this year.

Background: The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) includes a redistribution fund that includes unused CHIP funds from the prior two years and allows states to meet the projected costs of their current program. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) distributes those additional funds based on the state’s percentage of national CHIP allotments. As such, some states and territories will run out of CHIP funding during December. To ensure that there is no gap in funding, this proposal allows CMS to suspend their statutory formula and use all available redistribution funds based on state need. This will allow all states to be fully funded through the end of December. 

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