Health insurance for Texas children expected to be extended

In a story in this morning’s Dallas Morning News, Texas officials received some good pre-holiday tidings. They may not have to send out health insurance cancellation letters to nearly half a million kids three days before Christmas.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Wednesday said it’s very likely to give Texas enough additional money to keep its Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) running through February.

The commission’s original plan to mail out termination notices on Dec. 22 could now be pushed back a month. When Congress allowed funding for CHIP to expire on Sept. 30, Texas planned to use its remaining federal funds as long as possible — until Jan. 31. State law requires cancellation notices to be sent 30 days before coverage ends.

The law also says that if federal funding runs out, CHIP ends. From the program’s inception 17 years ago, state leaders have been wary that federal funds might someday dwindle or be shut off and that state taxpayers would have to bear the full tab.

You can read the full story here.