Governor Tom Corbett today visited St. Christopher's Hospital for Children as part of his continued travels throughout Pennsylvania to discuss his Healthy Pennsylvania initiative and celebrate the first legislative step in implementing the plan - elimination of the Children's Health Insurance Program's six-month waiting period.
Corbett's Healthy Pennsylvania plan focuses on improving access, ensuring quality, and providing affordability through a variety of initiatives such as promoting primary care and health information technology, convening a Healthy Pennsylvania summit and reforming Pennsylvania's Medicaid program.
"Last week, I signed House Bill 108, which reauthorized Pennsylvania's Children's Health Insurance Program and implemented my proposal to eliminate the program's six-month waiting period, allowing for timelier access to benefits for new CHIP participants," Corbett said. "As I toured this children's hospital today, I was reminded how important it is to continue our enrollment and outreach efforts for the CHIP program and our work to make sure all Pennsylvania children are insured."
Corbett's 2013-14 budget includes $8.5 million for enrollment and outreach efforts for CHIP, with a goal of insuring more than an additional 9,000 children in the program.
CHIP is one of Pennsylvania's most successful public-private partnerships. The state offers the program and defines its benefit plans; private insurance carriers coordinate those benefits and the care they provide with robust provider networks.
Nine insurance company contractors across the state provide generous benefit packages and coverage through CHIP, giving families more than one choice in every county.
During the program's history, more than one million children have been provided access to quality coverage and care through CHIP. More than 188,000 children are currently enrolled in the program.
Corbett also highlighted the need for increased access to quality, affordable healthcare while touring the medical center's emergency department.
"We must find ways to reduce healthcare costs," Corbett added. "My Healthy Pennsylvania plan does that through increasing access to primary care and ensuring that all Pennsylvanians have access to the healthcare providers and specialists they need to get quality, affordable healthcare."