Changes to Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will be made in order to ensure that the program meets the minimum essential coverage requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act, said Gov. Tom Wolf in an announcement on Aug. 20. The enhanced benefits will take effect on Dec. 1, 2015.
The changes include the following:
- All CHIP plans will cover certain preventive care services—such as oral hygiene education and dietary instruction—without cost sharing in the form of copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles
- Annual and lifetime limits will be eliminated on the cost of some specific services and equipment like durable medical equipment, hearing aids, pediatric vision and dental service, including orthodontic services
- Health plans must provide parity between mental health/substance abuse benefits and medical/surgical benefits
PAMED is supportive of these changes and other initiatives to improve access to care.
CHIP provides health insurance to children under age 19 who don’t qualify for Medical Assistance. More than 148,000 Pennsylvania children are enrolled in CHIP, and the program is open to all children under age 19 regardless of family income.