Insurance Commissioner Summarizes HHS Agreement for CHIP Changes

HARRISBURG – After months of the Corbett administration’s push to preserve the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has now agreed to give impacted and eligible families the option of keeping their CHIP coverage until year-end, according to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.

Pennsylvania is the only state to provide families the additional option of transitioning at renewal or at the end of the year.

In a Jan. 17 letter to HHS, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Mike Consedine acknowledged HHS’s agreement to allow Pennsylvania to extend CHIP as an offering through the end of 2014 to certain low-income families currently in the program.

The option to stay on CHIP through the end of 2014 or move to Medicaid will apply to children from families earning 100-133 percent of the federal poverty level. Children from families earning more than 133 percent of the federal poverty level, or $31,322for a family of four, will remain on CHIP.

Click here to read Consedine’s Jan. 17, 2014 letter.

This decision follows more than seven months of repeated requests for flexibility for Pennsylvania CHIP, which is one of the most successful and highly-recognized children’s health insurance programs of its kind in the country.

During that time, families and organizations expressed their concerns that forcing kids out of CHIP and into Medicaid would unnecessarily disrupt their relationships with their doctors and access to robust provider networks offered by CHIP.

Follow this link to read some of those letters.

Notices to the currently 30,000 CHIP families impacted by HHS’ decision will be mailed from their CHIP insurance carriers this month.

Other related information is available at the Insurance Department’s Web site, click on “Affordable Care Act News.”

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