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County Children's Health Initiative Program (C-CHIP)

What is C-CHIP: Chapter 648, Statutes of 2001 (AB 495) created the Children's Health Initiative Matching (CHIM) Fund in the State Treasury administered by the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB). The fund allows for the intergovernmental transfer of local funds used for local County Children's Health Initiatives (CHIs) purposes to draw down federal financial participation (FFP) matching funds for SCHIP eligible children. (For detailed information regarding C-CHIP, please see link on the left sidebar).

How does C-CHIP help California's children: The C-CHIP provides federal funding for low cost health coverage, with benefits similar to the Healthy Families Program (HFP), to uninsured children through age 19, who are not eligible for the HFP or the no-cost Medi-Cal Program, and whose household income falls within 251% to 300% of the federal poverty level (FPL). For information about County Children's Health Initiatives, go to http://www.ihps-ca.org/.

How does C-CHIP work: The C-CHIP allows counties and other county agencies to use local county funds as a match to draw down unused federal State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funds. Usually federal funds require a State fund match before funds can be drawn down. The C-CHIP program allows counties to use county funds to match for available federal funds, allocated to California, but for which there has been no State matching funds allocated. The "available" federal funds, along with county match funds, provide needed health care services for children. The counties use the funds to provide health insurance coverage to uninsured children through the County Organized Health Systems or Local Initiatives. C-CHIP is administered by the MRMIB and the CHI is administered by the county.

Current Status: Four pilot counties have implemented the C-CHIP and two additional counties have submitted applications to participate in the C-CHIP. The four pilot counties, Alameda, Santa Clara, San Francisco, and San Mateo, were approved to draw down FFP under a State Plan Amendment (SPA) approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2004. MRMIB finalized contract language with three counties (San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara) to initiate the flow of FFP funding and were able to claim FFP retroactively to April 2004. Alameda County withdrew from participating in the C-CHIP prior to implementation.

Two additional counties, Santa Cruz County and Tulare County, have submitted applications and proposals to participate in the C-CHIP. MRMIB submitted a State Plan Amendment (SPA) in July 2007 to CMS to expand C-CHIP. In August 2007, CMS issued the controversial State Health Official letter that imposed new crowd-out requirements that blocked the proposed expansion. MRMIB withdrew the SPA in November 2008. President Obama rescinded the August 2007 letter in February 2009.

What to do if your county wishes to participate in C-CHIP: Should your county wish to participate in the C-CHIP program, please refer to the link on the left sidebar (C-CHIP Application Packet), download the application, complete and submit to the MRMIB. The application packet has complete instructions on submitting an application.

For more information call Larry Lucero at (916) 322-4992, or contact by email: llucero@mrmib.ca.gov. You may also refer to the links on the left sidebar for additional information.