Carson City, Nevada - Governor Brian Sandoval today issued the following statement strongly urging Congress to move as quickly as possible to re-authorize funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP authorization is set to expire tomorrow, Saturday, September 30, 2017. In Nevada CHIP is known as the Nevada Check Up program and serves more than 26,600 children.
"Nevada Check Up is essential in our efforts to ensure all Nevadans, especially children, have access to affordable healthcare," said Governor Sandoval. "We have been in regular communication with Senators Heller and Cortez-Masto about the full impact inaction will have on thousands of Nevada children. Failure to re-authorize this program will leave low-income families who are ineligible for Medicaid, but cannot afford private insurance, without access to healthcare. I am calling on Congress to act swiftly to ensure that Nevada does not have to send termination letters or seek out a funding source which could have potential effects on other vulnerable populations."
The program has historically been funded with a mix of federal and state resources. As a part of the Affordable Care Act, all states received a 23 percentage point increase, resulting in the current program being operated with approximately 99 percent federal funding. In Nevada, operating costs for the program are about $3.6 million per month or $43 million per year. Nevada has "reserve funding" to operate the healthcare program for the next few months, however if Congress does not quickly re-authorize CHIP, states like Nevada will need to either send notices of termination to program beneficiaries or develop alternative funding.