Due to Congress’s failure to act to save the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the state of Alabama has announced that they will no longer enroll children in the state’s “ALL KIDS” program for low-income children starting January 1, 2018.
The program will terminate entirely on February 1, 2018.
Congress has yet to reauthorize funding for this crucial program that provides health care to 9 million children nationwide. Approximately 150,000 children in Alabama rely on the program. Federal funding expired in September, but states are expected run out of money by the end of this year, or early next year.
Although many states have warned families that their coverage could be cancelled if Congress doesn’t reauthorize the funding, Alabama is the first state to officially freeze enrollment.
Sixteen states total that serve 4.9 million children are expected to run out of funds by the end of January.
In six states – Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Texas, Utah and Virginia – officials have said they will end the state programs completely if Congress doesn’t approve funding.
Before Obamacare, states were free to freeze and restrict enrollment in the program. This resulted in states, like Alabama, freezing enrollment to save dollars.
Prior to CHIP, one in five children in Alabama were uninsured.
Currently, negotiations to reauthorize funding are tied up, with Democrats and Republicans unable to come to an agreement.