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Senate Democrats Urge the Governor to Expand CHIP in the Face of Falling Enrollment

August 22, 2013
PHILLADELPHIA- According to the monthly enrollment data produced by the state Insurance Department, there was a decrease in CHIP enrollment of 7,726 children from July 2011 to July 2013.  Additionally, as CHIP enrollment has dropped, Senate Democrats note that more than 98,000 children lost coverage through the Medical Assistance program between August 2011 and this past November.  Senator Stack and his fellow Senate Democrats are urging Gov. Corbett to take immediate action to correct the problem.
Senator Stack says he believes CHIP enrollment is dropping due to administrative changes and the failure by the Insurance Department to employ best practices in its operation.
Senator Stack and Senate Democrats believe the state should streamline CHIPís renewal process by: starting "presumptive eligibility," assuming that certain children are eligible for the program based on their circumstances, requiring the CHIP program to interface with the free- and reduced-school lunch databases, make health insurance screening and CHIP referral processes a part of school registration, include a check-off box for insurance on the CHIP Really flier that is sent to parents at beginning of each school year. Parents would sign and return the form each year, change renewal notices that are currently 90 and 60 days to 90 and 45 days, and use a joint application and renewal form for Medicaid and CHIP.
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