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Low-income state workers begin to gain access to CHIP

November 07, 2011

At least six states have opened their Children's Health Insurance Program to the kids of low-income state employees, an option that was prohibited until the passage of the 2010 health-care law. This relatively small step has as its backdrop years of debate over the program, known as CHIP, including concerns that it encourages states — and consumers — to replace private insurance with taxpayer-subsidized coverage. Now, as a result of the policy change, families of lower-income state workers who have struggled to pay for family coverage can qualify for the program. CHIP, which is jointly financed by the states and the federal government, provides coverage to the uninsured children of families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance.

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