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For KY, Kids' Health Plan Expansion May Be Out of Reach

Congress has just reauthorized the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or S-CHIP.  It’s also retooled the guidelines for who is eligible, allowing states to extend coverage to children in families living at up to 300% of the poverty line, or about $63,000 dollars for a family of four.  Kentucky Medicaid Commissioner Elizabeth Johnson says that could apply to about 11,000 Kentucky youngsters.“Under our KCHIP program we cover children up to 200% of the poverty level, so that would be an expansion if Kentucky decides to pursue the new federal option," says Johnson.…”If” being the key word:  Johnson says federal dollars cover 80% of the program, including the current program and the expansion option.  But states have to come up with 20% in matching funds, and Johnson says it’s uncertain whether Kentucky will be able to find the extra dollars.