The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) helped drop the percentage of uninsured children from 15% to 3.7% since its authorization by Congress in 1997, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released in celebration of CHIP’s 25th anniversary in August 2022.
A HHS and CMS joint program, CHIP built on Medicaid to provide healthcare coverage for uninsured children of families who earned too much to qualify for Medicaid but still couldn’t afford private insurance. CHIP’s enactment also streamlined and improved Medicaid, increasing that program's enrollment, too, during the past 25 years. CHIP also provides coverage for pregnant women and public health initiatives.
Research from a 2014 Mathematica study further identified that children insured under Medicaid and CHIP “experienced better access to care, had fewer unmet needs, and greater financial protection” than children without coverage.
“For 25 years, CHIP has provided millions of children and pregnant women with critical health insurance coverage and peace of mind knowing they can get the health care they need,” Xavier Becerra, HHS secretary, said. “I was proud to be part of the historic effort to create CHIP as a congressman in 1997, and now I am proud to lead historic efforts to strengthen the program as HHS secretary.”