Health care insurance for low-income children and pregnant women in La Plata County and across Colorado will stay in place for years to come, following a vote by Congress this week.
Uncertainty had swirled for months around long-term federal funding for Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), a program that benefits families that make too much to qualify for Medicaid and not enough to buy private insurance.
As part of a resolution to keep the federal government operating, Congress approved six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHP+ in Colorado. Enrollment requirements will not change as part of the funding extension.
“The continuation of federal funding for the CHP+ program is great news for local families and children, ensuring access to vital health and dental services, and eliminating the prospect of a gap in these services,” said Claire Ninde, a spokeswoman for San Juan Basin Health. “The continued access to health care through the CHP+ program helps these children reach their highest potential for health.”
The extension will benefit about 950 La Plata County residents and 570 Montezuma County residents enrolled in the program.
Congress allowed funding for the program to expire in September and Colorado extended emergency funding for the program that would have allowed it to provide insurance through the end of February.
Colorado will not have to spend the $9.6 million in emergency money it allocated for the program because federal funding was restored, said Marc Williams, a spokesman with the state.
The state also does not need to be reimbursed for running the program in November and December because Colorado had funds dedicated for the program and money left over from a previous federal payment to keep the program operating, he said.
More information can be found at CO.gov/HCPF/FutureCHP.