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Delaware officials call for Congress to renew CHIP

Delaware Public Media

Delaware will run out of money for the CHIP program at the end of January, if Congress does not pass legislation to renew its funding.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program has been around for about 20 years, funding health care coverage for children in lower income families who don’t qualify for Medicaid. About 8,300 children in Delaware are covered by CHIP. The cost is about $28 million from the federal health fund and just under $3 million from Delaware’s tobacco fund.

Lieutenant Gov. Bethany Hall-Long says she hopes Congress will pass legislation to renew the program after missing a September deadline to restore its funds.

“As Washington today cuts corporate taxes, I think immediately they need to be addressing the health of our children and authorize the CHIP program,” said Hall-Long.

Delaware children receiving health insurance under CHIP are covered through January.

“We’re hopeful that Congress will come to some compromise—both Republican and Democrat—on reauthorizing this wonderful program and the services it provides for children,” said Hall-Long.

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services officials say, if Congress does not act, the state’s Medicaid Division will send letters to CHIP families in early January, and explain alternative means of coverage for their children.  

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