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Pennsylvania's CHIP Program to Promote Awareness of Health Insurance Options During 'Cover The Uninsured Week'

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During Cover the Uninsured Week, Pennsylvania's Children's Health Insurance Program, CHIP, will visit communities across the state to remind families that health coverage is available to all children - regardless of their income.

"Cover the Uninsured Week brings awareness and attention to the growing problem facing our state and nation - and that is the increasing number of adults and children without health insurance," Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario said.

"The Insurance Department administers two programs that consumers can access for help - CHIP, and adultBasic. CHIP is available for children upon application and has no waiting list. Unfortunately, adultBasic has a waiting list for adults that Governor Edward G. Rendell is working to reduce through a health reform package that would use state and federal dollars. In the meantime, the program is available at cost to those on the waiting list."

CHIP will be in communities across the state to raise awareness about the program and to deliver the message of how families can apply for and access coverage through CHIP. Events range from faith-based outreach, sponsored story-time hours in local libraries and educational breakfast meetings with local legislators and community organizations.

"Many parents struggle to afford health insurance for their children, and they live in fear that an injury or illness could cause catastrophic damage to their household budgets. Working with grassroots advocates, churches, educators and health care professionals across the state, we will be able to get the word out in our communities that CHIP is available, it's affordable, and for many families, it's free," Ario said.

"Though our recent statewide survey on the uninsured showed us that cost remains one of the top barriers to having health insurance, there are also cases when consumers may not know all the resources that are available to help them. With the help of our community partners, CHIP has put together an aggressive calendar of statewide events to spread the word on the importance of health care, and to make sure every family knows that there are resources available to assist them in finding health care coverage for their children."

CHIP offers affordable, comprehensive health coverage to any uninsured child and teen not eligible for or enrolled in Medical Assistance. It offers coverage for services including doctor visits, prescription drugs, dental and eye care, as well as, immunizations, hospitalization and emergency care. CHIP premiums are affordable because they are based on household income. There is no cost for families who qualify for free CHIP.

More information on CHIP can be found by calling 1-800-986-KIDS or by visiting Adults can learn more about adultBasic by calling 1-800-GO-BASIC. In addition, existing government resources available to help residents make ends meet during tough economic times is offered at the Governor's new Web site,

Cover the Uninsured Week, March 22 through March 28, is a nationally observed, week-long outreach and education campaign that focuses on the importance of health care.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following are events for consumers to learn more about CHIP during Cover the Uninsured Week. (Please note that this list is not inclusive; you should check with local health providers for other events that may be taking place in your community):

Sunday, March 22

Cover the Kids Sunday

Churches will spread awareness of CHIP. Participating churches include:

First Episcopal District Headquarters; 3801 Market St., Philadelphia

Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church; 2800 W. Cheltenham Ave, Philadelphia

Sharon Baptist Church; 3955 Conshohocken Ave., Philadelphia

Mother Bethel AME; 419 S. 6th St., Philadelphia

Bethel AME; 2720 Webster Ave., Pittsburgh

Monumental AME; 101 Adams St., Steelton

Tuesday, March 24

Swarthmore Borough Library; 121 Park Ave., Swarthmore

10 a.m. - Mother Goose on the Loose; 2 p.m. - Pre-School Story Time

Parenting Class

Sponsored by Columbia County Family Centers; 15 Perry Ave., Berwick

1 p.m.

Institute for the Development of African American Youth CHIP sign-up sessions

2221 N. Broad St., Philadelphia

5 to 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 25

Lancaster Public Library; 125 N. Duke St., Lancaster

10 a.m. to noon (pre-school lap-sit program from 10:30 to 11:30)

Chocolate Chip Pancake Dinners

Hosted by the Health Federation of Philadelphia; 1211 Chestnut St., Philadelphia

Thursday, March 26

Upper Darby Twp. Library - Primos Branch; 409 Ashland Ave., Primos

9:15 to 11:30 a.m. (pre-school story time begins at 9:30)

Columbia Public Library; 24 S. 6th St., Columbia

6 to 8 p.m. (Arabic tutoring program)

Institute for the Development of African American Youth CHIP sign-up sessions

2221 N. Broad St., Philadelphia

5 to 7 p.m.

Parenting Class

Sponsored by the Columbia County Family Centers; 14th Street Elementary School, Bloomsburg

4:30 p.m.

Kindergarten registration at Easton Elementary School

Hosted by Family Connection of Easton, Inc.; 723 Coal St., Easton

P.M. Registration Session

Chocolate Chip Pancake Dinners

Hosted by the Health Federation of Philadelphia; 1211 Chestnut St., Philadelphia

Friday, March 27

Kittanning Library; 280 N. Jefferson St., Kittanning

11 a.m. to noon

Bedford Library; 240 S. Wood St., Bedford

10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. story time

Cover the Uninsured Week Breakfast hosted by the Consumer Care Coalition

United Way of Allegheny County; 1250 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.; program from 9 to 11 a.m.

Saturday, March 28

Bethlehem Partnership for a Healthy Community

St. Luke's Union Station Plaza; 240 Union Station Plaza, Bethlehem

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    CONTACT: Rosanne Placey or Melissa Fox
    (717) 787-3289

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Insurance
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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