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Pickett’s CHIP Bill Earns Committee Endorsement
HARRISBURG – Legislation designed to help families better access health insurance for their children was unanimously reported out of the House Insurance Committee today, said Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna), who authored the proposal as chairman of the committee.

House Bill 2299 would streamline eligibility, enrollment and renewal process for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which currently provides health care coverage to nearly 190,000 children up to age 19 statewide.

“By streamlining the eligibility, enrollment and renewal process for CHIP, more children in Pennsylvania would have greater access to the quality health care that they need and deserve,” said Pickett. “Pennsylvania has been the national leader for CHIP since its inception nearly 22 years ago, and by making continuous improvements to the program, we ensure its viability for years to come.”

Specifically, the legislation would implement continuous eligibility so that all children eligible would be assured uninterrupted coverage for 12 months; express lane eligibility so that information from another federal or state-related program would be used to determine eligibility to speed up the process; and administrative renewal procedures so that the Commonwealth could use existing data to re-determine eligibility. The latter would result in a preprinted form populated with eligibility information to be sent to the child’s parent or other representative. The parent would then return a signed copy to confirm the information and continued desire to continue coverage of the child.

Pickett also pointed out that with these changes, the state would then be eligible for potential additional federal matching funds to help further sustain the program.

For audio comments, click here.

CHIP provides health insurance to all uninsured children from birth to age 19, who are not eligible for Medicaid or not otherwise insured through private or employer-based insurance. Locally, 876 children in Bradford County are covered by CHIP, with 74 in Sullivan County and 784 in Susquehanna County.

The legislation now moves to the full House for the chamber’s consideration.

Representative Tina Pickett
110th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
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