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CHIP likely to last through February, spokeswoman says

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A spokeswoman for the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) said the program is likely to receive enough money to keep the program running through the holidays.

State officials planned to mail termination of coverage notices to more than 400,000 children in Texas three days before Christmas.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s administration requested about $90 million to keep the program running through at least February. Although it’s not official, the program’s spokeswoman says they’re very likely to receive that funding from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

CHIP was established in 1999. It covers families whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid, but fall under 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Congress cut funding for the program on Sept. 30 and the state planned on using federal funding to keep the program alive.

State law says when federal funding runs out, CHIP ends. When lawmakers are back in session, they could keep the program afloat by allowing it to run on state funding.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have until Dec. 9 to respond if it will pay for the program.

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