Monday, October 27, 2014

Support for #CHIP (Children's Health Insurance) Funding

As an advocacy organization, Family Voices Indiana, together with Indiana American Academy of Pediatrics and Covering Kids and Families, authored a letter to Governor Pence asking for his support of CHIP funding. We are pleased that 28 organizations have signed on to the letter. We urge you to contact your legislators as well.

October 27, 2014

The Honorable Mike Pence

Office of the Governor


Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2797

Dear Governor Pence:

As advocates, professionals, and families concerned about the health and well-being of Indiana’s children, we are writing to urge you to take action to ensure continued federal funding for Indiana’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). 

The CHIP program was enacted in 1997 with strong bipartisan support. Since its inception, it has helped the children of working families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private health insurance by providing coverage and access to critical high quality health care services. Because of access to CHIP coverage, the number of low-income, uninsured children across the country dropped by an astounding 50%, from 25% in 1997 to 13% in 2012, and has boosted health outcomes and access to care for children.

Because of the support of leaders like you, 91.6% of children in Indiana were insured in 2012—a record high. Indiana’s CHIP program is a major part of this success story, providing health coverage to over 82,000 Hoosier children. According to an independent evaluation conducted on behalf of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), in December 2012, enrollment in Indiana’s CHIP was at 82,660, with over 159,000 Hoosier children enrolled at some point during State Fiscal Year 2012. This evaluation states that Indiana’s CHIP program “has been more successful than many other states’ programs in lowering the uninsured rate among children in low income families,” and as a result of its success, places Indiana 10th best among states’ child coverage rates nationally. This success does not stop at mere coverage; it has resulted in better access to care for Hoosier children too. During SFY 2012, over two-thirds of Indiana’s CHIP enrollees had primary care and preventive dental visits—two services that are critical benchmarks of children’s health.

CHIP provides states with significant design flexibility to meet the needs of their populations. This unique structure has helped states tackle the costs of uncompensated care while reducing the numbers of uninsured children. Since the beginning, CHIP has maintained a proven track record providing child-specific care including developmentally-appropriate benefits, a full range of providers in network and affordable cost-sharing protections. Further, it has spurred highly successful state outreach and enrollment strategies with the end result being that nationally, children’s uninsurance has dropped to the lowest level in history. The importance of CHIP is more significant in states like Indiana with a large rural population; in 2012, Medicaid and CHIP covered 47 percent of rural children compared to 38 percent of urban children. 

Continued funding for Indiana’s CHIP Program is essential to carry on this positive coverage trend for children. Though Congress has authorized the program through federal fiscal year 2019, federal funding for the program is set to expire on October 1, 2015. As Indiana adjusts to a variety of health system changes, it is essential that Congress secure CHIP’s future so that children who depend on it remain insured. If Congress does not act, more than 7.8 million children across the country—more than 50% of those insured by CHIP—would lose their coverage by 2016, putting their families at risk for a steep increase in costs and a reduction in benefits. We fear that, without CHIP, Indiana’s uninsured rate would increase significantly and the health of Hoosier children would be in jeopardy.

We applaud the efforts you have taken to safeguard the health of Hoosiers, and in this spirit respectfully ask that you reach out to Indiana’s congressional delegation today to let them know why CHIP is so important to our state. Please ask members of Congress to support extending CHIP funding beyond federal fiscal year 2015. Your support of Indiana’s CHIP Program is critical to the program’s ongoing success and to the health and well-being of the children in this great state.


Family Voices Indiana

About Special Kids

American Academy of Pediatrics - Indiana 


American Cancer Society Cancer Action 

Network, Inc.

Child Health Improvement Partnership for 

Quality in Indiana (CHIP-IN)

Children's Bureau Inc.

Citizens Action Coalition

Cover Indiana Campaign

Covering Kids & Families of Indiana 

Goodwill of Central Indiana, Inc.

IU National Center of Excellence in 

Women’s Health

Indiana Association of United Ways

Indiana Catholic Conference

Indiana Coalition for Human Services

Indiana Community Action Association

Indiana Hospital Association

Indiana Immunization Coalition

Indiana Institute for Working Families

Indiana Minority Health Coalition

Indiana Perinatal Network

Indiana Resource Center for Families with 

Special Needs (IN*SOURCE) 

Indiana Rural Health Association

Indiana School Health Network

Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations 


Isaac M. Willett, President, Indiana Health 

Advocacy Coalition 

March of Dimes - Indiana Chapter

Mental Health America of Indiana

National Association of Social Workers -

Indiana Chapter

Nurse-Family Partnership Central Indiana

SEIU Healthcare IL/IN/MO/KS

Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber MD, President, 

American Medical Women’s Association

Indianapolis Physician Branch #107

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