Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh joined representatives from the Berks Community Health Center and Pennie today to highlight how the Shapiro Administration, Pennie, and community organizations are collaborating to support Pennsylvanians through federal changes to Medicaid and CHIP renewal requirements so they can protect their health and stay covered.
“Everyone deserves the dignity and peace of mind of having access to affordable, high-quality, local health care and knowing they can go to the doctor when they need it. DHS’ goal throughout the renewal process is to make sure that all Pennsylvanians stay covered,” said Acting Secretary Arkoosh. “I urge all Pennsylvanians who get their health coverage through the state to do a few things right now so that your renewal goes smoothly: make sure your contact information is up-to-date with DHS, check your renewal date so that you are ready to renew when the time comes, and complete your renewal by the deadline when it’s your turn to renew.”
The federal public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed for individuals to remain enrolled in Medicaid even if they became ineligible, except in certain circumstances. This is also known as the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement. A federal law ended the continuous coverage requirement on March 31, 2023. All Pennsylvanians receiving Medicaid or CHIP must complete their annual renewal when it is due to determine if they are still eligible for Medicaid or CHIP coverage. No one will lose Medicaid or CHIP coverage without first having an opportunity to renew their coverage or update their information.
Pennsylvanians can update their contact information, report changes in their personal circumstances, and check their renewal date: Online at www.dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS Via the free myCOMPASS PA mobile app l By calling 1-877-395-8930 (215-560-7226 if they live in Philadelphia)
Renewals will be completed over 12 months at a person’s usual time of renewal, and renewals due in April 2023 will be the first to be affected by the end of continuous coverage. If a person is found ineligible for coverage or does not complete their renewal on time, their Medicaid coverage will end. Pennsylvanians who are no longer eligible for Medicaid will be referred to other sources of affordable medical coverage, like CHIP and Pennie, so they have no lapse in quality, affordable health care.
“Health coverage provides peace of mind, financial security, and access to preventative services to catch minor health issues before they become major problems,” said Pennie Executive Director Devon Trolley. “Through Pennie, nine out of 10 customers qualify for financial savings, and often for those no longer eligible Medicaid or CHIP, the coverage is low cost or potentially even no cost. We encourage anyone who needs health coverage to visit pennie.com to learn about their quality health plan options.”
Pennie is Pennsylvania’s official health insurance marketplace and the only place to get financial assistance to help lower the cost of high-quality coverage and care. Those who are no longer eligible for Medicaid coverage can apply for coverage through pennie.com, and some individuals will have their information securely transferred from Medicaid or CHIP for an easier enrollment process. Customers can simply call Pennie Customer Service at 1-844-844-8040 or find Pennie-certified pros at pennie.com/connect.
Berks Community Health Center is a federally qualified health center established in 2012 to provide access to primary and specialty care for all patients, regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay. BCHC is committed to improving the health of their community through the delivery and coordination of affordable, comprehensive, culturally sensitive patient- and family-centered healthcare through the four convenient locations located throughout the City of Reading.
“We are pleased to host this important event since so many of our patients and community members are covered through these vital insurance programs,” said BCHC President and CEO Mary Kargbo. “The Department of Human Services and Dr. Arkoosh are assuring the process of re-enrollment is as smooth and understandable as possible. BCHC is committed to our community members and has insurance assisters to help with the process if they need help or have any questions.”
To learn more about Medicaid and CHIP renewals and access educational resources, visit www.dhs.pa.gov/staycovered.