The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) was created to provide health insurance coverage to children who might otherwise not have access to coverage. The program was created in 1997, and provides federal funds to states, with the states creating and administering individualized programs.
SCHIP was created by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, and enacted Title XXI of the Social Security Act. The program initially allocated roughly $20 billion over five years to help states insure more children, and SCHIP plans have been approved in all 50 states. The program allows each state to provide health insurance to children under the age of 19 who are not already insured, and each state sets its own guidelines. The program primarily benefits children whose families earn too much to be covered by Medicaid, but too little to afford health insurance. Roughly 6 million children fall into this category and receive coverage.
From the Chicago Tribune:
WASHINGTON – On a 265-159 vote, a broad House majority gave final approval Tuesday night to a $35 billion expansion of the popular children’s health insurance program, with members from both parties brushing aside a stern veto threat from President Bush.