HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was allowed to expire by congress over the weekend.
The program was created in 1997, with bipartisan support, as a way to provide coverage for children in families with low and moderate incomes. It was due to be renewed by September 30, but congress failed to act.
CHIP provides low cost health insurance to 9 million U.S. children, and more than 175,000 children in Pennsylvania.
CHIP is primarily funded by the federal government, though states do also contribute. In Pennsylvania, CHIP will be able to continue without disruption until February.
“We would notify families at least 30 days before the date the program terminates for lack of funding,” said Kait Gillis, Director of Communications for the Department of Human Services. “The department urges Congress to re-authorize CHIP so that 176,241 Pennsylvania children can continue to receive health insurance.”
Efforts are expected to begin in the House this week, to hopefully prevent long-term financial problems for those who depend on CHIP.