Bill reauthorizing Children’s Health Insurance Program passes House

HARRISBURG, Dec. 2 – Legislation authorizing the extension of Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program until Dec. 31, 2017 and moving the program from the Insurance Department to the Department of Human Services unanimously passed the House Tuesday and moved to the Senate for consideration.

“CHIP is a nationally recognized model for children’s health insurance that serves over 150,000 young people across the state, and I’m proud to support this program,” Longietti said. “We need to ensure that in the future, children and their families will have access to quality health care that allows them to visit the doctor when sick and get the necessary care they need.

“The move between state agencies is solely an administrative move that I believe will simplify the process. Each month as a family’s income may change, thousands of children move between CHIP and Medical Assistance. Having all these children under one IT system within one agency will streamline the process.”

House Bill 1633 did not change current eligibility, benefits or provider networks that provide services to children through CHIP.

Created in Pennsylvania under Gov. Bob Casey in 1992, CHIP has since become the model for children’s health insurance programs nationwide and was the inspiration for the federal SCHIP initiative signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1997. CHIP covers children and teens up to age 19 who are not eligible for Medical Assistance. As such, it helps working families with moderate incomes who cannot afford coverage for their children and who otherwise lack such coverage.

CHIP offers free, low-cost and full-cost plans based on family size and household income. For example, a family of three with a child younger than five earning between $31,542 and $41,788 would qualify for free health care for their child.

For more information on CHIP, visit www.chipcoverspakids.com or contact Longietti’s office at 724-981-4655.