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Medicaid and CHIP in Schools
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The Medicaid and CHIP Debate in the U.S. Congress 

The Senate has considered several bills to replace the Affordable Care Act. To date, all bills debated would have made significant cuts or placed caps on Medicaid reimbursement to states. COPAA has advocated against these cuts and/or caps because of the direct harm it will do to public school children, especially children with disabilities. It is critical that the Senate continue to hear that any bill with cuts and caps to Medicaid harms vulnerable students with disabilities.


NEW! The Children Health Insurance program (CHIP) needs to be reauthorized. Funding lapsed on September 30, 2017. The $13.5 billion program has received funding for the last 20 years and provides health care to 9 million children whose families make more than Medicaid eligibility allows but cannot afford private health insurance. COPAA supports CHIP because young children with disabilities eligible for CHIP will lose needed services at school and otherwise if states do not have funds to continue the program.


On October 4, 2017, committees in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives met to discuss acts that reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, CHIP funding was reauthorized through the passage of S. 1827, the Keeping Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act. In the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, CHIP funding was included in H.R. 3921, the Helping Ensure Access for Little Ones, Toddlers, and Hopeful Youth by Keeping Insurance Delivery Stable (HEALTHY KIDS) Act. We now need final action on both the House and Senate floors to fully reauthorize CHIP!


ACT NOW: Tell Congress to Reauthorize CHIP


Call Congress and tell them that CHIP must be reauthorized. Young children with disabilities need important supports and services and must have access to them through CHIP.


Find Your Representative:

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Why COPAA Advocates for Medicaid and CHIP in Schools

Cuts in Medicaid and a lapse in funding for CHIP not only affect the children eligible for Medicaid/CHIP in their home state, these cuts also impact all children in any public-school district. Why?  Because Medicaid/CHIP pays for more than just for poor children’s healthcare and related services.

Many school districts across the U.S. have opted to use Medicaid and/or CHIP to pay for: valuable personnel such as school nurses, counselors, psychologists, others (for all school buildings or to travel from school to school); and, to for school and district wide screenings, immunizations, durable medical equipment, technology/assistive technology and connect children with community based services. Without the promised Medicaid/CHIP dollars, access and support to services for tens of millions of children are in great jeopardy.

COPAA wants all eligible children to receive the supports and services they need when a state has determined to utilize Medicaid and/or CHIP to do so.


Medicaid and Students with Disabilities

Medicaid permits payment to schools for certain medically necessary services provided to children under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) through an individualized education plan (IEP) or individualized family service plan (IFSP). Schools are eligible to be reimbursed for direct medical services to Medicaid eligible students with an IEP or IFSP. In addition, districts can be reimbursed by Medicaid for providing Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment Benefits (EPSDT), which provides Medicaid eligible children under age 21 with health screening, diagnosis and treatment services such as vision, hearing and more. Many schools and districts rely on Medicaid to provide services and to pay for certain personnel (e.g. school nurse, aides); to purchase and update specialized equipment; and to purchase and/or provide assistive technology and items needed for each child to access the school curriculum alongside their peers.


CHIP and Young Children with Disabilities

CHIP has benefitted from strong bipartisan support since its creation in 1997. By providing medical assistance to children who are not eligible for Medicaid, CHIP provides essential funding to support states to cover 9 million uninsured children. More than half of the nine million children served by CHIP are eligible to receive services in school through their state Medicaid programs. Fifteen states exclusively use CHIP funds to extend their Medicaid programs, meaning all children who qualify for CHIP receive identical services and benefits as their traditional Medicaid-counterparts. In most states a substantial portion of children served by CHIP receive Medicaid services and benefits protections.


Medicaid: Legislative History: 2017

In early June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed The American Health Care Act (AHCA) that will result in significant funding cuts to every public school. The AHCA not only repeals and replaces parts of the Affordable Care Act, but changes the way public schools receive Medicaid funds necessary to provide services to students with disabilities. The bill puts $4 billion of Medicaid funding public schools receive annually at risk. COPAA has advocated against these cuts. See how much funding your state will lose under the AHCA




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