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
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.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

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."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

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.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.