– 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) was pleased to announce that the House unanimously passed her House Bill 2072
“Due to the combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and business shutdown, many families were unable to keep up with their CHIP premium payments,” said Mackenzie. “It is of great importance that we ensure that these children relying on this critical program can keep their coverage.”
Under House Bill 2072, a process would be 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 would be allowed to request payments for delinquent premium balances through Dec. 31, 2021.
“I am pleased that this legislation 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 believe the sudden end to the grace period given, due to the financial disparities caused by the pandemic, 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 payments for the past 20 months. My legislation would allow 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.”
House Bill 2072 now heads to the Senate for consideration.