National -- Small-business owners who don't retain employees because they can't afford to offer health insurance and other benefits now have a partial solution.
The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a joint state and federal program that targets employees with children 18 and younger who don't have access to health care. If your employees earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid but too little to afford private health insurance, their children may qualify for this option. The government has already approved 44 state, district and territory CHIP plans.
States can ask families to pay a portion of the cost, but there is a cap on what they can charge, and you may be able to reimburse employees for this cost. For more information, contact your state health department or Medicaid agency or visit CHIP's Web site at http://www.hcfa.gov/init/children.htm