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Learn about policy issues important to medical schools and teaching hospitals, with Executive Vice President Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D.

Washington Highlights

MACPAC Discusses Future of CHIP, Topics for March Report

December 12, 2014—The Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) Dec. 11-12 met to discuss the future of CHIP and draft chapters for their March Report to Congress on Medicaid premium assistance and a framework for evaluating Medicaid payment policy.

MACPAC staff provided an update on the future of CHIP. Under current law, funding for the program will expire at the end of fiscal year (FY) 2015. Staff reviewed responses from a July 29 letter from the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Finance Committees to all governors asking for their input to inform Congress’s actions on CHIP. A summary of the 40 responses found that governors from 38 states support extending CHIP funding, an expedited decision on CHIP funding is needed because of state budget cycles, and there is concern that insurance rates for children will increase if CHIP funding is not extended.

Commission staff also provided an overview of the Urban Institute’s modeling and projections on the eligibility for children in separate CHIP programs in a post-CHIP landscape. Their preliminary projections find that in 2016, approximately four million children will be eligible for separate CHIP and approximately three million will be enrolled in such programs.

Additionally, MACPAC staff examined affordability of coverage for children who would move from CHIP to exchange coverage. To improve affordability, staff suggested that lower premiums may reduce enrollment barriers or help families purchase gold or platinum qualified health plans (QHPs) and reduced cost sharing may improve children’s access to care after they are enrolled in a QHP. Affordability issues could also be addressed by providing new wrap-around subsidies or enhancing current exchange subsidies.

Commissioners reviewed draft chapters for their anticipated March 2015 Report to Congress on premium assistance and Medicaid’s expanding role in the private insurance market as well as a framework for evaluating Medicaid payment policy. The framework, which MACPAC staff presented as its Oct. 31 meeting, provides a format for ensuring that Medicaid payments are efficient, economic, maintain high quality standards, and safeguard against unnecessary utilization [see Washington Highlights, Oct. 31].


Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806


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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806