Deadline for children's health funding fast approaching - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Deadline for children's health funding fast approaching


More than half of the children in West Virginia receive health benefits through the Children's Health Insurance Program or Medicaid. However, CHIP, a federally funded insurance program, is set to expire at the end of the month.

For those not familiar with CHIP, the program has been around since 1997 and is separate from the Affordable Care Act. It has provided health, dental, and vision coverage to children under the age of 18 whose families make just a little more than the welfare system allows. If the funding is not renewed by Congress, Cathy Wallace of Child Law in Princeton says the effects could impact more than just the child's health. "The result, if you have a kid who's not getting the care that they need, or the insurance that they need... then those kids aren't going to be going to school on a regular basis, and they're going to be truant. They're going to be in emergency rooms. So it's a huge gap in services if we don't have that."

Though the program is only funded through September 30th, health experts are optimistic that Congress will renew the funding.

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