October 4, 2017
The Honorable Orrin Hatch The Honorable Ron Wyden
Chairman, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member, Senate Finance Committee
219 Dirksen Senate Office Building 219 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510
Sent Via Electronic Communication
On behalf of the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), I write to convey ACAP’s endorsement of the Keep Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure Act of 2017 (the KIDS Act, S. 1827), a bill to extend funding for five years for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). As you know, ACAP represents 61 member plans in 30 states serving more than 20 million Americans receiving coverage through Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare Advantage D-SNPs, and the Health Insurance Marketplaces. Our members serve almost 1 of every 2 Medicaid enrollees in managed care, and our qualified health plan (QHP) members have seen substantial increases in coverage provided to enrollees in the Marketplaces nationwide. Collectively, our Safety Net Health Plan members serve nearly half of a million enrollees in stand-alone CHIP programs as well as many additional children in Medicaid expansion CHIP. We view participation in this important program as a key part of our mission.
In September, ACAP wrote to House and Senate leadership asking Congress to ensure that none of the nearly 9 million children covered by CHIP experience a disruption in health care coverage. ACAP also expressed our hope that Congress would allow for an open discussion and collaboration among all stakeholders as part of the process to extend CHIP funding. We thank the Senate Finance Committee for this legislation and see it as an important step forward.
We are grateful for the common-sense policies included in the KIDS Act. For example, providing a five-year funding extension for CHIP will ensure budget stability for states as they operate their programs, and, most importantly, will provide ongoing security for millions of American families who rely on CHIP for health care for their children. The extension of funding for several other programs – such as express lane eligibility and the maintenance of effort – will similarly help ensure that eligible children will receive the care they need.