As hard times and high unemployment rates continue across the country, a program that aims to cover all uninsured children and teens in Pennsylvania has seen steady growth regionally and across the state.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, was launched in Pennsylvania in 1992 and was used as a model for the federal program four years later, according to state Insurance Department spokeswoman Melissa Fox. As of this month, CHIP covered nearly 194,500 children and teens, about a 17 percent increase from 2007.
Locally, CHIP enrollment has also seen growth. In Lackawanna County, nearly 3,000 kids and teens were covered by CHIP, a 22 percent increase since 2007. Luzerne County saw a 33 percent jump in members during the same time frame, with about 4,600 kids and teens covered right now.