Monday, January 31, 2011

CHIPs, health reform and Texas children

Health care reform has been a hot button topic in the United States as well as the state of Texas. Most people often forget about the children who are unable to receive suitable health insurance as a result of their parent’s income. Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offers Children’s Medicaid to families with uninsured children. They also offer prenatal health insurance to pregnant mothers who qualify.

This is being discussed under the Texas Health and Human Service Commission. HHSC has a mission to make sure all Texans achieve efficient and effective health care. It works with annual budget of $16 billion and 9,300 employee. This is a major step for Texas in health reform since last year the state was considering dropping out of the Medicaid and CHIP entirely. According to a New York Times Article (Nov. 6, 2010), “the Texas program costs $40 billion for a period of two years, with the federal government paying 60 percent of the bill.” The debate about dropping these programs arose from the recent changes in health care in the United States.

Overall, the CHIP program is established to help children under the age of 19 who are unqualified for Medicaid and cannot afford private health insurance. CHIP covers anything from a mental health care visit to something as simple as an eye examination. Co-payments are based on the family income so that not all families will be paying the same amount for health care. For more information on the CHIP program you can visit its website at

-Liane Michnoff

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