CHIP - Pennsylvania's Children's Health Insurance Program

Pennsylvania has a unique program which provides quality health insurance to children who are uninsured and teens not enrolled in or eligible for Medical Assistance. Pennsylvania's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has helped thousands of children maintain health insurance coverage. Legislation for this program was signed into law back on August 5, 1997 by the current president at that time, President Bill Clinton.

Pennsylvania CHIP offers affordable and comprehensive health insurance and no family makes too much to qualify. Parents often think their kids will not qualify because of their income, but that is not the case. The program covers all uninsured children and teenagers up to the age of 19 who do not qualify for Medical Assistance. There is no income level to be eligible and there is no waiting list. This makes the plan extremely accessible for the many children in need of health coverage.

Governor Edward G. Rendell expanded CHIP eligibility in 2007 with Cover All Kids. Cover All Kids is the creative initiative which lead to the growth of CHIP. It is now available to all children and families and for many the cost may be free of charge. If your income is at a certain level you will have reasonable, affordable monthly premiums. There are low co-pays as well for certain services. Pennsylvania Chip Insurance is administered by licensed health insurance companies which are carefully regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance. They also have contracts with the commonwealth to offer CHIP protection to families.

Children are guaranteed one year of coverage as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. It is important to renew coverage on time each year to keep benefits going. Renewal notices are sent out to members 90 days before benefits end. Forms must be completed by the due date in order to avoid lapse in health insurance coverage. Before starting the program, there is a six-month period of going without insurance for the low cost and at cost CHIP plans but not for the free plan. This can cause stress for families in need, but it is written into law that such a time period exist.

Given your family size and income level, your child may qualify if he or she meet certain criteria such as being under 19 years of age, a US citizen or US National or Qualified Alien, a resident of Pennsylvania and you must be uninsured and not qualify for Medical Assistance. Pennsylvania CHIP health program info: