$6 Billion for CHIP – the Allotments are In! – Say Ahhh! A Children’s Health Policy Blog

The long-awaited (at least by us) fiscal year 2009 “CHIPRA allotments” were released today.  They reveal, in final form, the new federal funding available to each state for its Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in fiscal year 2009.  As we anticipated based on earlier projections, each and every state will experience a substantial increase, relative to fiscal year 2008 spending, in the amount of federal CHIP funds available to it.

To provide a bit of an explanation on what CMS did, here’s some details on the table:

1.    Column 2 shows the FY 2009 allotment is 110 percent of the highest:

a. FY 2008 CHIP spending, with adjustments for health care inflation and child population growth;
b. FY 2008 CHIP allotment, with the same adjustments; or
c. projected FY 2009 spending as of February 2009.

2.    In column 3, they subtracted any federal funds the state has already received in FY 2009 for its CHIP program. These include the CHIP allotments in the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act, any FY 2006 redistributed funds, and any shortfall funds.

3.    Column 4 shows the result of subtracting the amount the state has already received from the FY 2009 allotment, providing the states with how much in federal funds they still have available.

As states consider their options in using the new CHIPRA law to cover more uninsured children, the question of federal funding support should not be an issue. Although many states are facing serious fiscal constraints, a remarkable number are moving ahead with coverage expansions and simplification measures designed to put the new law to work. As today’s final allotments indicate, the federal dollars are there for states to capitalize on (and not just in their annual allotments, as CHIPRA also included mechanisms for providing extra funds to states that may need it as they cover more uninsured children). The question is: can it all add up for the states?

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