Pennsylvania insurance program manages to find new life despite health care reform provisions
Pennsylvania has been fighting to keep its Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) intact as federal health care reform provisions begin to be enacted. The state program is considered one of the most successful insurance initiatives in Pennsylvania and it has provided insurance coverage for children and their families for some time now. The state is, however, being pressured to expand its Medicaid program, which would make insurance coverage more accessible to those that currently receive coverage through the CHIP initiative.
CHIP will continue to provide coverage through 2014
The state’s Insurance Commissioner, Mike Consedine, has announced that the Department of Health and Human Services has reached an agreement with the state concerning the CHIP initiative. Over the past seven months, state officials have been issuing requests to the federal agency concerning the extension of the CHIP initiative. Lawmakers had wanted to see more flexibility come from the health care reform law, which is currently pushing for those covered through the CHIP initiative to find coverage through the state’s Medicaid program. The Department of Health and Human Services has acknowledged these requests and has approved the extension of the CHIP initiative.
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Families will be able to keep their coverage or find new policies through Medicaid
Families that fall below 100-133% of the federal poverty level can still receive coverage through the CHIP initiative. This coverage will be ensured throughout 2014. Families may choose to seek out coverage from the state’s Medicaid program as well. In 2015, the CHIP initiative is expected to expire and families that had received health insurance coverage through the program will have to find new policies elsewhere.
30,000 families are covered by the CHIP initiative
Some 30,000 families currently receive insurance coverage through CHIP. These families have received notifications regarding the agreement that has been made with the Department of Health and Human Services. The families affected by the agreement are not likely to see their insurance rates increase and if they decide to seek out coverage through either the state’s Medicaid program or its insurance exchange, they will have access to guidance from state agencies.