Advocates are calling on the federal government to continue funding the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. The program is funded through Medicaid or, in Wisconsin Badgercare Plus. Money comes from both the federal and state coffers to fund the low-income health insurance program.
Funding for the program has passed the U.S. House, but has stalled in the U.S. Senate.
State Medicaid Director Kevin Moore describes how the program works...
".....here in Wisconsin the CHIP program is a part of our Badgercare Plus program. Family incomes less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level, that those children would have access to the Badgercare Plus Medicaid benefits...."
Moore says the federal portion traditionally has been about 60 percent with the state paying 40 percent...
"....under the CHIP program, that matching rate from the federal government has been higher. The state is able to spend fewer dollars and in this case it would be about 71 percent of every dollar spent by CHIP kids is coming from the federal government...."
Democratic State Representative Melissa Sargent called for federal passage saying getting the federal reimbursement would save the state $85 million.
Governor Scott Walker is said to support federal passage. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote this month on funding.
Badgercare Plus covers more than 822,000 Wisconsin citizens including more than 438,000 children 19 years and younger.
(Thanks for help Wheeler News-Learfield Data)