Rendell says CHIP Continues to Give Gift of Good Health to State’s Children

HARRISBURG – Gov. Edward G. Rendell said 2007 saw continued record-breaking enrollments in the state Children’s Health Insurance Program, better known as CHIP.

“Despite the debates still lingering at the federal level, I’m pleased that our state CHIP program continues its mission to Cover All Kids,” Rendell said. “We are closing the year on a high note, with 166,151 children enrolled; a 32 percent increase since I took office in January 2003.

“We expanded the CHIP program earlier this year to include all uninsured children, regardless of income, and because of that expansion, more than 5,900 additional kids and teens that previously would not have been eligible are covered.”

CHIP is the state’s nationally recognized program that offers affordable, comprehensive health care coverage to any uninsured child and teen not eligible for, or enrolled in, Medical Assistance. It offers coverage for services, including doctor visits, prescription medications, dental and eye care, as well as immunizations, hospitalization and emergency care.

“Parents across the state tell us on a regular basis how grateful they are for the peace of mind that comes with knowing their children have access to such great benefits. I am grateful to all who help us to spread the word about this important program – it is crucial to our continuing effort to cover all eligible uninsured kids and teens in Pennsylvania.”

Coverage for CHIP is statewide, and is provided by eight insurance companies contracted to offer coverage. They are Aetna, Americhoice, Blue Cross of North Eastern Pennsylvania, Capital BlueCross, Highmark, Inc., Independence Blue Cross, UPMC and Unison. In most counties, parents have a choice in providers.

CHIP premiums are affordable because they’re based on household income. There is no cost for families who qualify for free CHIP. Average monthly premiums for low-cost CHIP could range between $40 and $64 per month, per child. Families with higher incomes who qualify for at-cost CHIP will pay approximately $161 per month, per child.

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