Danger looms for children’s health care amid funding uncertainty

Tens of thousands of children in Missouri and millions nationwide could lose health insurance coverage if Congress doesn’t appropriate the necessary funds for a federal health insurance program.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program is set to run out of money by late September. If it does so, as many as 40,000 Missouri children under the age of 18 could become uninsured, as alternative options are limited and expensive.

With Republicans controlling both chambers in Congress for the first time in nearly a decade, some in the industry warn the program could become a target in their aggressive fight against the Affordable Care Act.

In Missouri, the program covers children in families with incomes up to 300 percent of the federal poverty line, or $59,370 for a family of three. If the program ended, only children whose families earn below 150 percent of the poverty line would still be eligible for federal insurance through Medicaid. The federal government pays about 73 percent of the cost for CHIP, but that would drop to 63 percent under Medicaid.

Read more from the St. Louis Post Dispatch

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