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By Erin Mershon and Brianna Ehley

The ACA required HHS to complete a study byApril 1 comparing CHIP plans to policies sold on the exchanges. But our calendar says it’s August and that report still seems to be missing in action. Child advocacy groups, including First Focus, have been waiting for the report’s findings to figure out how the exchange plans stack up to CHIP, just in case Congress decides not to reauthorize the program beyond 2019. In that scenario, children relying on CHIP would be moved onto the exchanges.

— “Before we contemplate a future where kids move onto the exchanges, we need to make sure the exchanges are ready for kids,” First Focus spokesman Ed Walz told PULSE. “The law required the study exactly for that reason. Congress and the Obama administration wanted to make sure moving to the exchanges wasn’t a step backwards for kids.” Walz noted that there have been independent studies comparing the plans, but so far, nothing from the federal government, despite its mandate. A senior HHS official told PULSE “at this time, we do not have an update on the report,” citing the fact that Congress recently extended CHIP’s funding for another two years. Stay tuned, we’re tracking…

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