– Working to ensure no child loses their health care coverage through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Rep. Milou Mackenzie (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton) is pleased to announce that her proposal addressing CHIP payments is included in this year’s state budget.
“Due to the combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and business shutdowns, many families were unable to keep up with their CHIP premium payments,” said Mackenzie. “It is of great importance that we ensure children relying on this critical program can keep their coverage.”
The budget includes nearly $23 million to satisfy CHIP arrearages that had accrued during the pandemic when the administration informed insurers not to terminate CHIP enrollees for not paying their premiums.
Under Mackenzie’s House Bill 2072
, a process is established for CHIP contractors to apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) for federal dollars allocated to the state from the American Rescue Plan. CHIP contractors are allowed to request payments for delinquent premium balances through Dec. 31, 2021.
“I am pleased that this proposal received overwhelming bipartisan support and shows that ensuring Pennsylvania children’s ability to retain their health care is a top priority,” continued Mackenzie. “Without a plan in place, I was concerned that the sudden end to the grace period would create confusion, additional stress and burdens on thousands of individuals and families should they start getting letters from DHS and insurers seeking back payment for any delinquent premium payment. My proposal allows for these delinquent CHIP accounts to be covered by federal dollar surplus to make sure that families dependent upon this program would not lose their vital health care coverage. I am so grateful that my solution to this problem has been accepted and is being implemented in this year’s budget.”
Rep. Milou Mackenzie
131st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Katie Park
RepMilouMackenziePA.com | Facebook.com/RepMilouMackenzie