CHIP Health Plan for Working Families

Do you earn too much money to be eligible for Medicaid, but not enough money to pay for private health insurance for your kids? Based on certain income requirements, kids and pregnant women may be qualified for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”). Currently, there are approximately 400,00 Texas kids and pregnant women enrolled in CHIP. Health care services in Texas include prescriptions and post-partum care.

CHIP was created in 1997. Texas adopted the program a couple of years later and since then, over one million children have been enrolled in the health insurance plan and able to obtain proper medical treatment.  For a child to be eligible for CHIP, a family of two can earn income up to 200% of the federal poverty level, around $32,000 a year or $2,666 a month.  According to a July 2017 article in the Business Insider, the average monthly rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Houston, Texas is $1,088.  After paying rent, there is not much money to cover food, clothing, utilities and transportation, much less private health insurance premiums. CHIP is crucial for low-income working-class families.

On September 30, 2017, Congress failed to renew the authorization for CHIP funding. There is limited hope that six months worth of federal CHIP funding may be authorized prior to the holiday break, however, this would cover October 2017 through March 2018.  If Congress fails to authorize temporary funding, states will fund CHIP without their federal partner.  According to recent reports, Texas only has funds to keep CHIP active until February 2018 in the event the federal government chooses to discontinue the program.