The state of Minnesota has received about $3.6 million in unexpected federal money to help cover health costs for low-income children and pregnant women this month.
State officials had said they'd need to take "extraordinary" measures to replace federal money that pays for health care for more than 125,000 children on Medicaid and about 1,700 low-income pregnant women. That's because Congress failed to renew funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program that provides the women and children with coverage.
But the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services had unspent funds they provided to Minnesota Monday to fund the program, for now.
"This is really a stop-gap to keep people covered who need coverage through the month of October," said Emily Piper, Minnesota's commissioner of human services.
Last month, Piper wrote that Minnesota would exhaust its $115 million CHIP funding for 2017 by the end of the month. She said our state's reimbursement from the federal government for children's CHIP coverage would decrease abruptly if Congress failed to act.
Piper said it's critical for Congress to renew funding. The people most at risk are women who become pregnant in the future. They might lose coverage for pre-natal and post-partum care.