HARRISBURG - In helping to ensure health care coverage for children across the 110th District and throughout Pennsylvania, Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) this week voted in favor of legislation to extend the Children's Health Insurance Program for another two years. The legislation was signed today by Gov. Tom Corbett.

"The Children's Health Insurance Program has allowed hundreds of families in our area to better afford health insurance for their children for more than 20 years," said Pickett, who was just named chairman of the House Insurance Committee this fall. "With federal funding now available to cover the majority of the cost, it would have been a shame to allow the program to sunset. So many families rely on CHIP to meet not only basic medical needs but more advanced health services. I'm pleased so many families will continue to have this option."

Under House Bill 108, the program is extended until Dec. 31, 2015, and the six-month waiting period is eliminated before a child can enroll.

CHIP coverage includes quality, comprehensive health insurance coverage for routine doctor visits, prescriptions, dental appointments and eye care, along with immunizations, mental health, durable medical equipment, rehabilitation therapies, home health care and autism-related services.

Free CHIP coverage is available to eligible children in households with incomes no greater than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL); low-cost CHIP coverage is available for those with incomes greater than 200 percent but no greater than 300 percent of the FPL; and families with incomes greater than 300 percent of the FPL have the opportunity to purchase coverage by paying the full rate negotiated by the state.

Currently, 188,098 children are enrolled in CHIP across the Commonwealth, with 947 in Bradford County, 91 in Sullivan County and 777 in Susquehanna County.

Article submitted by the office of Rep. Tina Pickett.