Governor Tom Wolf Announces Exemption from Tax Penalty for CHIP Buy-in Families, Ensures Special Enrollment Period
February 05, 2015
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced that Pennsylvania families enrolled in Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Buy-in Plan will be able to enroll in new plans during an extended enrollment period. The Wolf Administration also announced that affected families will not face a tax penalty for 2014 or through the extended enrollment period in 2015. The federal government previously determined that Pennsylvania’s CHIP Buy-in Plan does not qualify for recognition as minimum essential coverage (MEC) because it does not meet certain requirement(s); therefore, families are required to find new health plans for their children.
“As soon as my administration was made aware of this important issue, we acted swiftly and quickly to address the problem and I have assurances from the federal government that hardworking Pennsylvania families will not face tax penalties and that they will be able to enroll in a health plan during an extended enrollment period,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “I have also directed the Department of Insurance to immediately begin an aggressive outreach plan that will work with private insurers and community leaders to enroll affected families into new health plans. I am committed to making sure children have access to health care.”
“As soon as this issue was brought to our attention, Governor Wolf and I worked to remedy this problem for families across the state,” said Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller. “With the governor’s leadership, we were able to persuade the federal government that these families should not be penalized for matters beyond their control, and we were able to ensure an extended enrollment period to find new health plans. The Insurance Department is committed to working closely with families to make sure families transition to new coverage and have continued access to necessary care.”
After being made aware that Pennsylvania’s CHIP Buy-in Plan does not qualify as MEC because it does not meet certain requirement(s), and therefore, families are required to find new health plans for their children, the Wolf Administration moved quickly to persuade the federal government to not only exempt these families from facing any tax penalty for 2014, but also to guarantee that there would be an extended enrolment period to April 15, 2015. Families will not be subject to a penalty through the extended enrollment period as well. The Department has also alerted CHIP insurers and asked them to be ready to help individuals find other coverage that will meet the minimum requirements mandated by the federal government.
Moving forward, the Wolf Administration is committed to collaborating with insurers to find solutions that make certain at-cost CHIP and all Pennsylvania health care programs meet minimum requirements set by the federal government.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Sheridan – email@example.com – 717.783.1116
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