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Corbett To Sign Bill To Speed Up Enrollment In CHIP

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(Gov. Tom Corbett -- File photo by Tony Romeo)

(Gov. Tom Corbett — File photo by Tony Romeo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - Governor Corbett is expected to sign a bill that will speed up enrollment for many children who qualify for “CHIP” — the Pennsylvania Children’s Health Insurance Program.

The bill was given final legislative approval in the House Tuesday and is headed for the governor’s desk. Corbett spokesman Jay Pagni says the measure will extend the life of the CHIP program through the end of 2015.

“And through this bill, we’re able to eliminate a six month waiting period for CHIP,” he said. “That means timelier access to benefits for children that need health insurance.”

Originally, a six month waiting period to enroll in CHIP’s low-cost and at-cost programs was imposed out of concerns that without it, employers would have an incentive to drop insurance coverage for the children of employees.

There was no waiting period for the free CHIP program. But now changes brought by the new federal health care law prompted lawmakers to eliminate the waiting period.

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