8-23-13 Kids of state government workers to be eligible for WVCHIP

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The children of West Virginia state government employees may soon be able to apply for health insurance coverage with the West Virginia Children’s Health Insurance Program (WVCHIP).

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced the change Thursday, which is pending federal approval.

“The good health of our children is of the utmost importance,” Gov. Tomblin said. “Through this opportunity, we are seeking to protect and improve our children’s quality of life and future by providing a more affordable insurance option for their families.”

Dependents of state government employees previously were not eligible to apply for WVCHIP due to the federal program’s eligibility restrictions.

The Affordable Care Act changed those federal eligibility restrictions enabling WVCHIP to consider enrolling qualified dependents of state employees, who currently receive coverage under the WV Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA).

The WVCHIP agency will next notify the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of its intent to submit an amended state plan authorizing enrollment of public employees’ children into WVCHIP. CMS will begin an approval process in October with a decision expected to be made by January 1, 2014.

If approved by CMS, eligible PEIA members will then be able to look into the new option during open enrollment with WVCHIP coverage beginning July 1, 2014.


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