Corbett’s office: Governor scheduled to visit State College, discuss children’s insurance program

cminemye@centredaily.comOctober 18, 2013 

Gov. Tom Corbett will be in Centre County on Tuesday to discuss the Children’s Health Insurance Program, renewed this week by the state legislature.

Corbett is scheduled to speak at 10 a.m. in the main lobby at Mount Nittany Medical Center, individuals at the governor’s office and the hospital said Friday.

Corbett on Wednesday signed the renewal, which removes a six-month waiting period for children to be enrolled in the insurance program.

CHIP is available to families that earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid but who cannot afford private health coverage.

“This bill moves us closer to ensuring that every child in Pennsylvania has timely access to health care coverage,” Corbett said in a news release after signing the reauthorization bill.

Corbett spokesman Jay Pagni said that the governor will visit State College unless action in the legislature keeps him in Harrisburg. The General Assembly is dealing with a number of bills, including the transportation funding act.

The CHIP extension takes the program through 2015. The 2013-14 budget includes $8.5 million for the program.

Corbett said the goal is to add 9,000 children to the program. More than 188,000 are enrolled currently.

Pagni called reauthorization of CHIP “a lynchpin in the governor’s Healthy PA program,” which is Corbett’s initiative to expand access to health care while retaining doctors in Pennsylvania.

Corbett said that the federal Affordable Care Act would shift some children from CHIP to Medicaid. The state Insurance Department requested an extension on the Jan. 1 date for implementation of that aspect of the Affordable Care Act.

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