22 July 2009

W.Va. Part of Bucking Trend with CHIP

The New York Times counts West Virginia among the at least 13 states that "have invested millions of dollars this year to cover 250,000 more children with subsidized government health insurance" amid tight budgetary times.

The Mountain State is among those to expand eligibility for the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which "has been politically popular since its enactment in 1997 because it primarily benefits working families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private insurance," the article said.

The expansions come in the wake of federal legislation that extended the program through 2013 and "provided $32.8 billion in new financing over that period, paid with an increase in tobacco taxes," The Times reported. "The new law allows states to provide coverage to children from families living at up to three times the poverty level. States can set thresholds higher if they wish, but will be reimbursed by the federal government at a lower rate."

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