Event marks 25th anniversary of Children's Health Insurance Program

HERSHEY, Pa. — Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Secretary Teresa Miller joined Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) families, advocates and stakeholders at Penn State Children’s Hospital on Dec. 1 to celebrate 25 years of CHIP and to call on Congress to reauthorize the program. Alan Brechbill, president of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and Dr. Leslie Walker-Harding, chair of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital, also participated in the event.

CHIP provides free or low-cost health insurance for families, uninsured children and teens who are not eligible for or enrolled in medical assistance. CHIP is available for families whose income is above 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

Walker-Harding made a plea to reauthorize the program. “I remember practicing medicine before the 1997 authorization of the bill,” she recalled. “I know the incredible impact it has had on working families who used to have to make a choice between having health insurance for themselves or their children, choices about which essential medications to fill and which they could not fill.”

Approximately 175,000 children in Pennsylvania receive health care supplied by CHIP. The program has helped the Commonwealth reach a high of 96 percent of children and adolescents covered by health insurance.  

“Let’s not be the generation that is remembered for children of working families losing health insurance,” said Walker-Harding. “When we invest in children and their health we continue to invest in the future of our state and country.”

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated December 06, 2017