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  Oct 10, 2018

What is SCHIP?

The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is a program that was proposed and enacted into law as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. It is a firm partnership between the Federal and each individual state government – it is administered by the state governments, but its funding is jointly covered by the federal and state governments with the federal government paying a higher share of SCHIP costs up to a predetermined total amount for each state.

The purpose of SCHIP was to provide health coverage in conjunction with Medicaid by targeting insurance coverage to the uninsured, low-income children whose family income is too much to be eligible for Medicaid, but still too little to afford private coverage. Those who qualify typically earn up to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

Federal SCHIP funds from states are also subject to redirection due to the financing structure laid out by CHIPRA. This means that after two years, any unspent SCHIP funds remaining in a state’s allotment will be redistributed to states that require additional financing.

Additionally, a state’s total SCHIP spending is calculated using the SCHIP formula that is adjusted every two years. Through appropriate analyses, stat