Trapped in America's Safety Net

Trapped in America's Safety Net

One Family's Struggle

Andrea Louise Campbell

CHIP provides health insurance for children whose families lack coverage but whose incomes are too high for Medicaid. It is funded jointly by the federal and state governments (using the same matching rate as Medicaid, plus a 15 percent sweetener to encourage state participation), but states determine eligibility and other program parameters. By 2012, nearly all states—forty-seven—had eliminated their asset test for CHIP, 34 but they still set income thresholds, with the income cutoff for eligibility varying from just 160 percent of the federal poverty level in North Dakota to 400 percent in New York.

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