CHIP: What Is It, And Why Does It Matter?

September 18, 2017

What is it?

CHIP is the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Established in 1997 by Congress, the program provides insurance for children from low- and middle-income families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but have limited access to private insurance.

The funding expires at the end of September 2017 unless Congress reauthorizes the program.


Why does it matter?

CHIP provides healthcare to approximately nine million children across the country.

As a result of CHIP, the uninsured rate for children dropped from 14% to 5% between 1997 and today.

CHIP is paid for by both state and Federal governments.


CHIP and New York State

In 2016, CHIP covered over nearly 700,000 children in New York State, where it is known as Child Health Plus.

Approximately 70 per cent of funding comes from the Federal government.

More than 97% of New York children have health coverage – the highest level in history. New York achieved this success thanks to the ACA, Medicaid and CHIP.

The threat to CHIP

  • CHIP is set to expire at the end of September 2017.
  • If it is not reauthorized by Congress, 9 million children nationwide – nearly four in ten – would be at risk of losing coverage.
  • In New York State, the healthcare coverage of the nearly 700,000 children covered by CHIP would be in jeopardy.

Learn more about CHIP at: