Congress has just reauthorized the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or S-CHIP. It’s also retooled the guidelines for who is eligible, allowing states to extend coverage to children in families living at up to 300% of the poverty line, or about $63,000 dollars for a family of four. Kentucky Medicaid Commissioner Elizabeth Johnson says that could apply to about 11,000 Kentucky youngsters.
“Under our KCHIP program we cover children up to 200% of the poverty level, so that would be an expansion if Kentucky decides to pursue the new federal option,” says Johnson.
…”If” being the key word: Johnson says federal dollars cover 80% of the program, including the current program and the expansion option. But states have to come up with 20% in matching funds, and Johnson says it’s uncertain whether Kentucky will be able to find the extra dollars.