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CHIP program considers waiting period change

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Changes could be coming to the health insurance program for West Virginia children who are uninsured.

 The Children's Health Insurance Agency has scheduled a meeting Wednesday in Charleston to discuss and vote on a proposal to eliminate a waiting period prior to enrollment in CHIP.

Currently, children are required to remain uninsured for three months before enrolling. That was to prevent so-called crowd out, or people moving from a private insurance plan in order to add CHIP coverage.

The change is being proposed as the state addresses the new health care overhaul, which is expected to boost the numbers of residents enrolled in CHIP or Medicaid by more than 50 percent by 2016 and significantly reduce the number of uninsured.

CHIP currently covers about 25,000 residents ages 18 and under.


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