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United Way Blog

Congress Must Protect Health Insurance Program for At-Risk Kids

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare—your child is sick, and you have no health insurance.

A single mom in Ohio recently didn’t know where to turn when her 11-year-old son showed symptoms of strep throat. Although she had health coverage through her employer, she couldn’t afford to add her son to the insurance plan. That’s when she called 2-1-1, United Way’s information helpline, where an operator told her about the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and referred her to a local clinic, where her son was enrolled in the program and received the care he needed.

In the U.S., nine million kids depend on CHIP for health coverage. These are children from working families who make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford coverage from private insurers. CHIP provides healthcare critical for a child’s early development and long-term growth. The program’s lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs ensure working families can afford quality healthcare for their children.

But CHIP is under threat right now, and Congress must act fast to reauthorize the program before funding expires on September 30. Without action from lawmakers, funding will begin running out for most states, putting millions of children at risk of losing healthcare coverage. That’s why we’re asking Congress to extend the program for an additional five years at current levels to ensure that children retain access to affordable, pediatric centered healthcare.

Without CHIP, the Ohio boy battling strep wouldn’t have received the medication he needed to get better. Join us and help the millions of children who rely on CHIP by calling on your member of Congress to reauthorize the program before time runs out.

Together, we can safeguard our country’s most vulnerable population by ensuring each child receives the quality, affordable care they need.

Protect children's health coverage

CHIP covers over 9 million children in working families. It is critical for early childhood well-being and development. With continued coverage, working families will be healthier and more self-sufficient. Let’s protect what works!

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