Children’s Health Insurance

Children’s Health Insurance

Children must be insured as early as possible to have the healthiest start possible. By age 3, children should have 12 well-child visits according to the schedule set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

These regular, preventive visits to the doctor or pediatrician are essential for tracking a child’s growth and development, providing immunizations, and identifying and addressing delays or concerns.

Yet, in Pennsylvania, nearly 20,000 children under the age of 3 lack insurance coverage, which is slightly higher than the national average.

This means 5.1% of our youngest children are not receiving critical health care in those early years when their brains are growing most rapidly, putting their healthy development at risk.

Policy Priorities

  • Educate families about free or low-cost, affordable options for health insurance through Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the state-based marketplace Pennie™.
    • Medicaid 1-866-550-4355 or online
    • CHIP 1-800-986-KIDS (5437) or online
    • Pennie™ 1-844-844-8040 or online
  • Monitor the year-long unwinding of the continuous coverage provision in Medicaid that was in place during the COVID public health emergency to ensure eligible children remain enrolled with no break in coverage and that children who are no longer eligible transition smoothly to CHIP.

  • Monitor the transition of CHIP eligibility and enrollment duties from CHIP MCOs to DHS county assistance offices to ensure families know of this significant change coinciding with the Medicaid unwinding process.

  • Encourage policymakers to provide health care coverage for kids regardless of their citizenship or enact what’s known as the “Dream Care” initiative. Legislation is needed to eliminate the coverage restriction for noncitizen children who call the state home.