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Nevada wants $11.3M for Children’s Health Insurance Program

Nevada has requested an extra $11.3 million in federal funding to continue the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program while Congress decides if it will renew funding for the decades-old program.

If the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approves the state’s request, it will keep the Nevada Check Up program running through February, according to Chrystal Main, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Without it, the state will run out of funding by the end of the year, and families will need to find health coverage elsewhere.

“Nevada Medicaid continues to be hopeful that action will be taken on a more permanent solution before then,” Main said via email Monday.

Congress missed its Sept. 30 deadline to reauthorize the program, which covers more than 27,500 Nevada children whose low-income families make too much to qualify for Medicaid. The state’s Division of Health Care Financing and Policy was working to find alternate funding sources for the program, deputy administrator Cody Phinney said at the time.

The program costs $43 million annually, covered almost entirely by federal funding.

The newest funding request has been received and is in the review process, Main said.

About $3 billion in unspent CHIP money for previous years is available to states in the 2018 fiscal year. Five states — Arizona, California, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington — received money from that pool on Oct. 31, according to the federal Medicaid and Chip Payment Access Commission.

Minnesota and Arizona are projected to run out of CHIP money by the end of the year.

With redistributed dollars, much of the country would be able to fund their programs into 2018, with funding to Illinois and Wyoming projected to last longest, into July 2018.

Contact Jessie Bekker at jbekker@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4563. Follow @jessiebekks on Twitter.

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