Based on comments and phone calls I have been receiving over the past month, there is much confusion over the federal CHIP (child health insurance) program and our local grassroots CHIP (child health investment partnership) established by Dr. Douglas Pierce and Cabell Brand to provide medical care coordination, family support and community resources to families in poverty.
The federally-funded Child Health Insurance Program was signed into law in 1997 to provide federal matching funds to states for health coverage to children in families with incomes too high for Medicaid, (up to 200 percent of poverty), and who live lawfully in the U.S., but cannot afford private health coverage. There are 192,831 children enrolled in CHIP, (the child health insurance program) in the state of Virginia in FY2016 and 8,900,074 nationwide. These federal funds are state-administered through a block grant, with 65 to 85 percent of costs reimbursed from the feds to the states. Congress has not reauthorized an extension of this federal funding and Virginia’s funding is expected to be exhausted between January and March 2018, at which point many of Virginia’s pregnant women and children will lose coverage.
The locally-supported and homegrown non-profit, Child Health Investment Partnership, provides approximately 1,000 children in our community access to comprehensive health care services and community resources through home visits with registered nurses and family case managers.
Nurses help keep children up to date on immunizations, well-child visits, provide health literacy around asthma, nutrition, oral health and chronic disease. Case managers monitor development, provide early literacy resources, and provide linkages to community services that could benefit enrolled families. And in 2016, CHIP began providing mental health counseling to adults and play therapies to children who have suffered past trauma.
In 2018, our Child Health Investment Partnership (CHIP) will be celebrating 30 years of providing health and hope to children from low income families in our community. For further questions or information, call 857-6993.
View the Roanoke Times Op-Ed.
Robin Haldiman, CEO, Child Health Investment Partnership of Roanoke Valley