Proposed CHIP Reductions Would Burden Families - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/18/04

Proposed CHIP Reductions Would Burden Families

As many as hundreds or even thousands of East Texas children may lose health coverage through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). That's because the state has proposed another round of budget cuts that may mean stricter qualifications for CHIP.

"We're talking about children who aren't eligible for medicaid and whose families can't afford health insurance," Nick Sciarrini, Director of the Northeast Texas Public Health District, said. "So they're kind of caught between the rock and the hard place. They're the ones that are going to have to use the emergency room or just pay cash for any doctor's visits, avoid preventive care."

The new proposal would allow only families with less than $5,000 in liquid assets to qualify. The last round of budget cuts eliminated more than 1,000 children from CHIP in Smith County alone. If the new changes are adopted, they would take effect in May.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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