Sunday, October 20, 2013

CHIP Waiting Period Eliminated, Medicare Open Enrollment Begins

Under a new law that passed in the state House of Represenatives, there is no longer a mandatory uninsured waiting period before parents can sign up their uninsured children for Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program.

In addition to eliminating the six-month wait for CHIP enrollment, the law also extends the program for another two years. These changes take effect immediately.

Local state representative Robert Freeman (D-PA136) voted in favor of the measures.

CHIP coverage is available to any child in Pennsylvania whose family earns too much to qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford to purchase private insurance or isn’t covered by an employer. 

CHIP covers immunizations; wellness checkups; prescriptions; dental, vision and hearing services; diagnostic testing; emergency care; mental health benefits; and hospitalization, as well as substance abuse rehabilitation and other services. The cost of insurance under CHIP is based on family income.

If your child doesn’t have health insurance, or you know of a child who isn’t covered, find out more about CHIP and how to enroll at or by calling 1-800-986-KIDS.

Medicare open enrollment available now

 Senior citizens and others who have Medicare can change their health plan and prescription drug coverage for 2014 now through December 7.

Information on 2014 Medicare plans is now available. If you have Medicare and are thinking about changing your plan or your prescription coverage, visit, or call 1-800-MEDICARE for plan information.

Those satisfied with their current Medicare plans don’t need to do anything.

Obamacare Doesn't Affect Medicare Benefits

The new Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act (sometimes called "Obamacare") is for people who don’t have health insurance. If you are covered by Medicare, you have health insurance.

The new Marketplace will not affect Medicare choices, and Medicare benefits won’t change under the new system. No matter how you get Medicare, you’ll still have the same benefits and security you have now. In fact, if you have Medicare, it’s against the law for someone to sell you a Marketplace insurance plan.

Visit to learn more about health care fraud and ways you can protect yourself against it.

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