Last week the the House Health and Human Services Committee of the Texas House of Representatives approved CSHB109 and passed it along to the full house for a vote. The proposed legislation aims to reform Texas' Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). On the Texas Senate side basically the same provisions will be put forward in Senate Bill 81.
The bill includes a list of improvements that will help provide medical coverage to the children of low-income, working families across the state.
It eliminates the current 90-day wait period for uninsured children who are eligible. It restores the annual (12 month) certification requirement so that parents no longer have to go through the process twice annually. The proposed bill also raises the allowed "wealth" of a family to $10,000 liquid assets, plus reasonable values for up to two automobiles. The legislation also allows for the calculation of net income after deductions for child care and some work related expenses, as well as child support costs.
The proposed plan also adds an estimated $59.1 million in state revenue to the CHIP budget, while increasing the federal match as a result of the state's increased commitment to improving health care for children in Texas.
The bill will also restore funding for outreach so that the coverage can be more adequately marketed across the state.
Action: contact your Representative in the Texas House now and urge support for CSHB109. Contact your State Senator now and urge support of SB81.
If you don't know who your House and Senate members are, visit http://www.house.state.tx.us/welcome.php and http://www.senate.state.tx.us/.
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