Insure Our Children to Ensure Our Future
The Business and Public Safety Case for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides healthcare to 8.9 million children―one out of every ten kids in the U.S. While CHIP is often lauded for its role insuring children in working families, research also points to much broader benefits from the program that extend to the nation’s economy and public safety.
The report highlights a number of key facts relating CHIP to a stronger economy and improved public safety:
- Working families have lower costs on CHIP. The vast majority of children enrolled in CHIP have at least one parent in the workforce. These families have substantially lower out-of-pocket costs on CHIP: approximately $1,000 less annually than a Marketplace plan.
- CHIP helps 200,000 parents work more. Two hundred thousand families have a child on CHIP with a special healthcare need. Without adequate care, the productivity loss among these parents nationally costs the U.S. economy $17 billion per year.
- CHIP supports the future workforce. Children with health issues that are not managed properly frequently miss school and often fall behind academically. This is a widespread problem; one in seven kids in the U.S. is chronically absent. CHIP is proven to reduce and manage health problems that are related to chronic absenteeism, including dental pain and chronic health conditions.
- CHIP helps prevent crime. CHIP provides juvenile justice-involved youth with proven therapies that have been shown to cut crime in half or more. It also provides preemptive mental health services to children with serious emotional disturbances, who have a heightened risk of committing future crime.
One of the best ways to improve public safety is to ensure kids are prepared for productive lives, so they’re less apt to turn to crime. I view the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as a step in the right direction.
Sheriff Jim Tracy, Utah County, UT
As Congress considers reauthorization of the CHIP program, needed before September 30, policymakers should consider the ripple effects of this program. Without CHIP, millions of children will become uninsured, risking their health and productivity in the years to come and taking a toll on our economy and public safety.