Denver — Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 — The Joint Budget Committee (JBC) today approved Gov. John Hickenlooper’s request for emergency funding to continue Colorado’s Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) program through Feb. 28, 2018. This supplemental funding provides additional time for Congress to authorize federal funding and prevents cancellation notices from being sent to Colorado CHP+ members next week.
“We appreciate today’s bipartisan action by the JBC as it gives CHP+ families peace of mind through the holidays. Still,this funding is only temporary,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Congress needs to stop playing politics and renew funding for the program.”
Funding for the emergency CHP+ budget request will come from the Children’s Basic Health Plan Trust which was created using monies from the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement. No General Funds will be used in this request. Congress can act at any time. If they act quickly and reauthorize the federal Child Health Insurance Program in January - and barring any further gap in federal funding – it is expected today’s emergency funding will not be needed. Regular updates can be found at Colorado.gov/hcpf/FutureCHP.
Prior to today’s JBC budget action, Colorado only had sufficient funding to operate the CHP+ program through Jan. 31, 2018. The JBC can make spending decisions when the legislature is not in session for extraordinary items at the request of the Executive Branch.