Gov. Corbett signs bill extending CHIP, eliminating waiting period

Gov. Tom Corbett
Gov. Tom Corbett.
Credit: Rikard Larma / Metro.

Gov. Tom Corbett on Wednesday signed a bill extending Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program and eliminating the program’s 6-month waiting period.

House Bill 108, sponsored by state Rep. Nick Micozzie (R–Delaware), changes the expiration date for the CHIP program from Dec. 31, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2015.

It also removes the program’s provision requiring children go without insurance for 6 months before qualifying for enrollment in CHIP.

“This bill moves us closer to ensuring that every child in Pennsylvania has timely access to healthcare coverage,” Corbett said in a statement.

“CHIP is a nationally-recognized program that has been providing health insurance coverage for over two decades.”

Bill co-sponsor state Rep. Ed Neilson (D–Phila) said in a release he is pleased the bill became law.

“Removing the ‘go bare’ period was my number one priority,” Neilson said in a statement.

“There was no legitimate reason for that provision in the first place, and it forced parents to gamble with the health and well-being of their children. We now have a stronger and more compassionate system without it.”

CHIP is a public-private partnership, with the state offering the program and defining its benefits plans and private insurance carriers coordinating benefits and corresponding care with provider networks.

More than 188,000 children are currently enrolled in CHIP, and more than one million children have accessed health care through the program over the course of its history.

Neilson said the bill signed by Corbett will allow CHIP to continue to be funded by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

But Corbett said in a release that, under the Affordable Care Act, children up to 138 percent of the poverty level would involuntarily be moved from CHIP into Medicaid, a move he opposes.

He has requested U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius authorize the legislature to keep Pennsylvania’s children in the CHIP program.

As conversations between the federal and state government continue, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department has asked for an extension on the possible move, now scheduled to occur Jan. 1, 2014.

“I continue to have concerns that moving children from PA CHIP’s commercial insurance platform to Medicaid could cause disruptions in their relationships with their healthcare providers and delays in their ability to access care,” Corbett said in a statement.

“CHIP works for Pennsylvania’s families.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Video: Car crashes into Cambridge store, man arrested…

A Cambridge man was arrested on gun and drug charges after crashing his car into a Massachusetts Avenue storefront early Saturday morning.

Local

Body found believed to be missing Fitchburg boy…

The body of a child found off of a highway in Sterling last week is likely that of missing Fitchburg boy Jeremiah Oliver, authorities said.

Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Parenting

Is camp right for introverts?

We ask an expert for tips on sending your introverted child to camp

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.