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Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children President and CEO Joan Benso today issued the following statement in response to the Wolf administration’s decision to extend an insurance enrollment deadline for certain families covered under Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP):

“Gov. Tom Wolf and Acting Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller deserve credit for working effectively with the federal government and taking swift steps to help keeping Pennsylvania’s children insured.

“Families of more than 3,600 children enrolled in CHIP - who would have faced a burdensome tax penalty had they not acted within just a few days (Feb. 15) - now have until April 15 to enroll their children in an insurance program that meets federal standards without fear of that tax penalty. Extending this enrollment deadline by two months is a smart step toward keeping our kids insured and healthy. A good next step involves bringing the entire CHIP program in Pennsylvania up to federal minimum essential coverage standards so a situation like this does not arise again.

“As an organization that has spent more than two decades advocating for children’s health care coverage, PPC thanks the Wolf administration for working with the federal government to give Pennsylvania families who would have faced a tax penalty additional time to make coverage decisions for their children. We also look forward to the administration’s efforts to work with CHIP insurers, health care advocates and the federal government to bring our CHIP coverage up to federal minimum essential coverage standards

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G Elenback
  February 10, 2015 12:55pm

This extension is not addressing the underlying issue. As Congressman Meehan noted in a letter to the CMS: For what reasons would CMS approve Pennsylvania’s CHIP benefit package when operated under Title XXI of the Social Security Act, but deny approval when the identical package is offered pursuant to state law?