The Children’s Health Insurance Program, which covers low-income children across the country, turns 25 in August, but Pennsylvania has its own ‘chip’ For a longer time – and it was used as a model for the federal program.
CHIP was launched in Pennsylvania five years before the national program. CHIP allows states to cover children when parents cannot afford private health insurance.
Antoinette Krause, executive director of the nonprofit, said today Access Pennsylvania Health Networkabout 136,000 children in the Commonwealth are enrolled in CHIP, a slight decrease from previous years.
She said, “We believe this is because we are still a public health emergency at the moment, so a lot of children are in Medicaid with their families and cannot be removed from coverage during this period. So we expect that when the public health emergency ends, A lot of kids will be transitioning from Medicaid to CHIP.”
This is because in Pennsylvania, CHIP can cover any uninsured child who is not eligible for state Medicaid or Medicaid. The current end date of the public health emergency is October 13, although there is an opportunity to extend it.
The Pennsylvania Health Access Network helps families find health services that fit their budget. One persistent barrier they see, Kraus said, is that parents don’t always know the income eligibility requirements for CHIP and assume they can’t afford it.
“But really,” she said, “for parents on very low incomes — if you’re making between $21,000 and $28,000, and you have a child under five, or you’re making between $18,000 or $28,000 and your child is between six and 18 — a chip free to them.”
Krause added that Pennsylvania has the lowest rates of uninsured residents in its history, both for adults and children. It has been attributed to a combination of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and CHIP. but, Report from 2019 It showed that 4.6% of children in the state remain uninsured.
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