TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) released a timeline of actions regarding the state of Florida’s continued work urging the federal government to reauthorize and extend the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). For months AHCA and the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation have been working with federal partners and conducting weekly meetings with our Florida KidCare partners which includes the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, Florida Department of Health and Department of Children and Families to plan and implement strategies related to CHIP reauthorization. AHCA has also participated in calls regarding CHIP arranged by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Academy for State Health Policy, and the National Medicaid Directors Association.
Secretary Justin Senior said, “Governor Scott has made it clear that he supports reauthorizing CHIP and the state of Florida fully expects Congress to act immediately on CHIP reauthorization. Our Agency is closely monitoring Congressional activity regarding the extension of CHIP funding. We remain hopeful that Congress will act to ensure that the many children and families that rely on this federal program have continued and uninterrupted service. Our Agency has been involved in discussions on CHIP reauthorization since August with federal CMS. Additionally, representatives from Florida Healthy Kids have been in Washington, D.C. to pursue this reauthorization since the summer of 2016. AHCA will do everything to ensure that these children have health care, and Florida has funding to continue the CHIP program through January. We will continue to reevaluate funds as this process moves forward. Ultimately, the continuation of this important federal program requires federal action.”
CHIP Related Planning:
· Contingency calls to discuss how Florida would ensure seamless operations following CHIP reauthorization, including short term and long term plans were held on August 23, September 19, October 13, October 27, November 3, November 11, November 17, December 1, December 8, and December 15. These calls included AHCA, Florida Healthy Kids and the Department of Health.
· Calls with CMS to discuss Florida’s availability of CHIP funding were held on August 17, September 23, October 4, December 19, and December 21.
· Florida Healthy Kids continues to have internal discussions and partner calls scheduled on October 6, November 3, and December 1, where congressional action around CHIP reauthorization was discussed.
· Florida submitted the CHIP funding template to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with estimated need for November and December of 2017 on October 4, 2017.