Brittany is a single mom in Springfield whose three kids receive health care coverage through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Congress failed to refund CHIP by the deadline on September 30, 2017, and now, Brittany is worried about how she’ll provide health care coverage for her children should the funding for Missouri’s CHIP program run out. Brittany makes too much to qualify for Medicaid coverage, but instead pays an income-based monthly premium to the state for her kids to have health care coverage.
She says it wouldn’t worry her as much if it weren’t for her 6-year-old son who has autism and a platelet disorder. Every year, her son sees a hematologist to check on his blood count – an expensive visit without insurance. In addition, Brittany takes her son to various therapy programs, including speech therapy that on private insurance could run up to $100 per week. “There’s no way I could do that,” she said. Adding her children to her employer’s health care plan would mean premiums that she says would take up almost all of her income. If CHIP funding isn’t renewed, parents like Brittany would face tough times as they find themselves without the means to provide necessary health care coverage for their children. “They shouldn’t punish the children,” she said.