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Funding for CHIP will last until February in Delaware


Health Secretary Kara Odom Walker said Thursday that funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program in Delaware will last until the end of February, delaying the chance of 8,300 children losing their health insurance for another month. 

Congress has yet to agree on a plan to renew the $800 million program that insures about 8.9 million children in the country. If the federal government fails to approve long-term funding for CHIP, about 1.9 million children across the country could lose coverage in January, according to a report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. 

In Delaware, the state adds $2.9 million to the federal $30 million to fund the Delaware Healthy Children Program, which provides low-cost health insurance to children whose parents don’t qualify for Medicaid. Funding for CHIP, which usually garners bipartisan support, has been in limbo since its federal funds ran out on Sept. 30.


In December, state officials believed Delaware would run out of funding by Jan. 31. But officials recently heard from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that Delaware will now be able to last until Feb. 28.

Walker, head of Delaware Health and Social Services, said she is in “complete disappointment and disgust” with how Congress has handled the re-authorization of CHIP.

“These are kids,” Walker said. “These are kids who deserve to have health care and need health care access. 

“I just can’t believe we’re in this situation of stop and start of what we need to do if we don’t receive additional funds from CMS to continue the CHIP program here in Delaware.”

States are struggling with how to save the program and are choosing between finding other sources for the money, freezing enrollment or shutting it down entirely. 

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