WSFA/AP - About 84,000 Alabama children will continue to be covered under the ALL Kids health insurance program for the time being, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Continued coverage comes despite earlier warnings that ADPH would have to freeze enrollment on Jan. 1 and cancel the program altogether in February if Congress did not act to continue funding of the Child Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.
ADPH says the continuing resolution passed by Congress on Dec. 21 has prevented the freeze and cancellation of the ALL Kids program but says long-term funding for CHIP is needed.
The Dec. 21 continuing resolution came after Congress again failed to approve long-term funding for the popular program, which supports approximately 9 million children nationwide. According to the Associated Press, the short-term funding is supposed to keep state programs running through March, but some Republicans say federal officials believe the money will run out by early February.
ALL Kids provides subsidized insurance for working families and is responsible for bringing down the number of children who go without health insurance in Alabama from 20 percent in the 1990s to just 2.4 percent today.