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05/27/2024 07:10 PM
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: May 4, 2022 12:42 PM
From: Senator John DiSanto and Sen. Sharif Street
To: All Senate members
Subject: CHIP Choice
Soon, we plan to introduce legislation addressing the Department of Human Service’s attempt to limit choices for CHIP children and families.
On Friday, April 1, Pennsylvania based Capital Blue Cross (Capital) became aware that DHS would change the way it bids the CHIP program to align it more closely with the Medicaid program. The new bid scheme would use the HealthChoices zones which divide the state into 5 separate service areas.

Capital is a regional Blue and is only permitted by its national association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) to sell branded products in 21 counties. The Healthchoices zones will divide that service area into two of the HealthChoices zones and includes counties in those zones that Capital is not permitted to sell in by its BCBSA affiliation. DHS will also require CHIP vendors to sell in all the counties in a particular HealthChoices zone or they cannot participate.
Capital has been involved in CHIP since its inception in 1992. As of April 2022, Capital currently provides CHIP coverage to 11,736 children all of which would need to find new coverage if DHS is successful in their endeavor. Capital’s CHIP business helps support 70+ Pennsylvanian jobs.
Our legislation will prohibit DHS from developing or utilizing bidding or service zones that limit a health service corporation or hospital plan corporation contractor from submitting a bid and requires DHS to accept a solicitation or bid from any health service corporation or hospital plan corporation to ensure choices for these counties.

This bill will be a companion to forthcoming legislation offered by House Insurance Committee Chairs Pickett and DeLuca.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB1235