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What is the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was enacted by a bipartisan group of lawmakers as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-33) to provide funding to states to reduce the numbers of uninsured children. CHIP focuses on low-income children in working families who don’t have access to job based coverage, but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. In 1997, an astounding 23% of low-income children in America, those at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), were uninsured. Since CHIP was enacted, the uninsurance rate for children age 18 and under has fallen by 67.9%, from 14.9% to 4.8%. In 2015, there were 4.1 million uninsured children, down from 10.7 million in 1997. In 2014, there was a 91% participation rate for children eligible for CHIP and Medicaid.