Children's Health Insurance Program

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Parents of 180,000 children across Pennsylvania, including 14,000 kids in Allegheny County, are breathing sighs of relief now that funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program has been renewed for six years.

Matt Rourke / AP

Fights over federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program has states trying to figure out how long their programs can hold out without getting more money.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania is urging Congress to shift its focus to funding the Children's Health Insurance Program, instead of pursuing the federal tax overhaul bill. 

The insurance plan covers nearly 9 million children nationwide whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford private insurance. About 180,000 Pennsylvania children are covered by CHIP.

Matt Rourke / AP

 

The open enrollment period for people buying health insurance through the Affordable Care Act comes to a close this Friday—a period half as long as last year’s. Nearly 80 percent of Pennsylvanian consumers selected the “middle-of-the-road” silver plan last year, but this year, costs for silver plans have rocketed.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

It's been more than two weeks since Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico—knocking out the power grid, leaving people homeless and hospitals with dwindling supplies. Despite President Donald Trump's comments contrasting the storm to a "real catastrophe like [Hurricane] Katrina," many in Pittsburgh are eager to respond to the island's needs.

Rebecca Devereaux / 90.5 WESA

Children and families fell in line Thursday tooting kazoos and banging makeshift instruments through Northview Heights beside the players of Pittsburgh's River City Brass Band.

Dubbed March Pittsburgh, the movement kicked off an effort to enroll youth in health care programs with help from from a $40,000 UPMC Health Plan sponsorship, Mayor Bill Peduto's office, the Consumer Health Coalition and other partners.

Pittsburgh was awarded $200,000 to insure children in the city through Healthy Together.

The money was granted from the National League of Cities and was given to eight cities that showed a quality and feasible business plan to increase access to healthcare. Cities could receive up to $260,000 for their efforts.  

Approximately 271,000 Pennsylvania children have health care coverage through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and millions are covered nationwide.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is calling on his fellow lawmakers to extend funding for the program through fiscal year 2019.

“The basic problem we’ve got is the program is authorized through fiscal year 2019, but not funded,” said Casey. “We can’t say that we’re doing what we should be doing for children if we don’t match the funding with the authorization.

A new report from Georgetown University finds that nationwide, the rate for uninsured children continues to decline, even as most Americans perceive that the rate is on the rise.

“As of 2012 it was just over 7 percent nationwide without coverage,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. “That is certainly still too many, but in fact that’s a historically low number.”

Gov. Tom Corbett has been traveling the state, raising awareness of Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

As part of the push to get all Pennsylvania children enrolled in CHIP, the governor is convening a Healthy Pennsylvania Summit in the spring and continues his effort to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program. Included in the 2013-14 budget is $8.5 million for enrollment and outreach efforts for CHIP.