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PA Launches Campaign to Build Awareness and Enrollment for CHIP

May 15, 2018

Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) launched CHIP Strong, a public awareness campaign reminding families that they can get health coverage for their children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The campaign’s federally funded television, radio, and social media messages highlight this high-quality health insurance, which includes dental and vision coverage.

CHIP is available for families whose income is above 133 percent of the poverty level. The program provides coverage to uninsured children and teens up to age 19 who are not eligible for or enrolled in Medicaid. Currently, CHIP provides free or low-cost health insurance for more than 180,000 children in Pennsylvania. 

Congress acted earlier this year to extend funding for CHIP for ten years. This landmark reauthorization demonstrates the strong bipartisan support for CHIP. Given the strength and effectiveness of Pennsylvania’s CHIP program, CHIP has historically enjoyed particularly strong backing by Pennsylvania lawmakers. 

CHIP funding is at issue in the context of the President’s proposed recessions package. Recently introduced legislation by the Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 3—Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act, is crafted to implement the rescissions package. The legislation would cut $7 billion from CHIP funds—rescinding $5.1 billion from unobligated balances and $1.9 billion from the contingency fund.

A cost estimate issued by the Congressional Budget Office indicates the legislation would reduce budget authority but would not affect budget outlays or the number of individuals with insurance coverage. Governor Tom Wolf, Senator Bob Casey, and DHS have urged Congress to continue to support CHIP and not allow funding cuts.

Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems support access to reliable, affordable, comprehensive health coverage and continue to work to help patients and families get covered.

For more information on CHIP and how to enroll, visit www.chipcoverspakids.com.

For more information about HAP’s federal legislative advocacy, please contact Laura Stevens Kent, HAP's vice president, federal legislative advocacy.

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