Medicaid and CHIP

Medicaid is an important source of health insurance coverage for millions of low-income individuals and families across the country. A robust Medicaid program is essential to the ability of health centers to improve the health of the nation’s medically underserved populations. Community Health Centers care for 1 in 6 Medicaid beneficiaries nationally – providing these patients with comprehensive services – from primary care to mental health and dental care, to transportation, translation and case management.

In addition to Medicaid, the Children’s Insurance Program (CHIP) is another vitally important source of health insurance coverage. CHIP is a federal-state partnership that provides comprehensive health care coverage for children from families whose incomes are too low to afford private insurance but too high to qualify for Medicaid. The program is financed jointly by the federal government and the states, and it is administered by the states within broad federal guidelines.

Together, Medicaid and CHIP patients comprise 50 percent of patients served at health centers.

The unique Community Health Center model yields billions of dollars in system-wide savings by making care accessible, improving its coordination and management, and reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency room visits. Research shows that health centers produce Medicaid savings by reducing unnecessary, avoidable, and wasteful use of health resources. As a result, health centers save the federal-state Medicaid program $6 billion annually. Health centers currently care for 15% of the Medicaid population with only 1.8 % of the total U.S. Medicaid budget. Health centers continue to provide high-quality, affordable primary, and preventive care for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries, as well as the millions of Americans seen by health centers regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.

Helpful Resources

NACHC Medicaid and CHIP Fact Sheets

Recent Medicaid CHIP Bills

Bill Endorsements

Other Resources

For more information, please email