2013-10-24 / Local & State

Corbett Signs CHIP Extension Ending 6-Month Wait

By Marc Levy

ASSOCIATED PRESS

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Gov. Tom Corbett has signed a bill to extend a popular program that provides health insurance for children and eliminate a six-month waiting period before some children can join.

Corbett’s signature Wednesday followed speedy approval by the Legislature to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program through 2015.

Children’s advocates have criticized the six-month waiting period as a needlessly bureaucratic and complicated step, and Corbett made its elimination part of his effort to close the gap of an estimated 150,000 children in Pennsylvania who lack insurance.

The waiting period applies to children who qualify for the low-cost and at-cost CHIP programs, but not to the free CHIP program. The waiting period was a way to discourage parents or employers from dropping private insurance to enroll children in CHIP.

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