By Stan Bush
DENVER (CBS4)– More than 90,000 Coloradans could lose insurance if Congress does not approve government funding by Friday.
The Children’s Health Plan Plus, commonly referred to as CHIP, has been tied to the funding bill as the government heads toward the cliff of a shut down.
“Against a really tough flu season, we talking about not renewing insurance for kids,” says Heidi Baskfield at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “We’re confused and disappointed.”
Funding for CHIP became a flash point for the funding bill after a deal to protect DACA recipients fell apart. Hospital administrators says they are trying to prioritize CHIP user before the program expires later this winter.
“We are literally training staff to hand walk families thru the insurance exchange,” says Baskfield.
CHIP covers everything from emergency room visits to vaccines. The typical user’s parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to be added to their parents plan.
“In this economy I have to make more and more to function,” says Angelique Smith, who uses CHIP for her 5-year-old son. “Where can we move things around? If this goes away where do we cut?”
Smith says CHIP saves her roughly $4,000 a year. She works for a children’s non-profit and says if CHIP goes away she may have to find a second job or a new career.
“It’s an added stress and it’s just the feeling ‘will we ever get ahead?’”