The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced that it is making temporary changes to Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to keep families enrolled in CHIP for the duration of the public health emergency and to ease access to medical services for children being screened or receiving treatment for COVID-19.
“COVID-19 has created economic challenges for families across Pennsylvania, and we want to be sure that families are able to keep health care coverage to protect themselves and their children during this time. These changes are designed to ease access to CHIP and to keep families enrolled in health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller.
The following changes are in effect for CHIP until the end of the public health emergency:
- Families will not be denied or disenrolled from coverage for administrative or financial reasons. An example of an administrative reason is not being able to provide proof of income.
- Families will not pay a copay for services that are for COVID-19 screening, testing or treatment.
- Families who cannot provide paperwork to verify information on an application or renewal, can provide self-attestation of information by signing the application or renewal.
- Families will be given more time to pay premiums, if needed.
Families still must provide verification of information presented on an application, and are still responsible for copays for services not related to COVID-19. Testing and treatment services related to COVID-19 are covered. Families are also still responsible to pay premiums if applicable.
If a family is unable to pay premiums because of a decrease or loss of income, the family must contact their managed care organization immediately and can request the MCO to perform a “reassessment” because of an income change at any time.
The Wolf Administration has previously announced the continued availability of CHIP and Medicaid to families and individuals that meet eligibility requirements, as well as temporary flexibility of requirements for providers of Medicaid and CHIP to ensure availability and access to health care.