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CHIP provides health insurance to roughly 270,000 children throughout Pennsylvania each year

Washington, D.C. – In response to the dangerous decrease in federal support for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the CHIPPER Act (S. 453). This legislation will improve federal support for state CHIP during the public health emergency by retroactively extending an enhanced federal funding match for the program that expired last year, and continuing it through September 2022. This will allow the federal government to reimburse states for the months when there was a decrease in support, and allow the states to receive enhanced funding for an extra year as they work to provide comprehensive coverage to children during a time of decreased state revenue due to the pandemic. Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Susan Wild (D-PA-07) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01).

“It is unacceptable that the federal government pulled back its support for CHIP when so many children need comprehensive health insurance during a public health crisis. The government has an obligation to guarantee that CHIP continues to support the many American families who rely upon it during these challenging times,” said Senator Casey.

The CHIPPER Act would extend the enhanced federal match for CHIP for an extra year for states that take proactive steps to maintain and expand children’s health insurance coverage, such as eliminating waiting periods for CHIP enrollment and actively seeking to re-enroll children who were previously removed from the program.

The CHIPPER Act is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Children’s Hospital Association, Families USA, First Focus Campaign for Children, KidsPeace, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, Pennsylvania CHIP, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and St. Luke’s University Health Network.

Read more about the CHIPPER Act here.