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COVID-19 public health emergency ending

What you need to know and do

The public health emergency (PHE) ended on May 11, 2023. The PHE was a federal declaration that began in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the PHE, the Pennsylvania Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) made temporary changes to its program requirements. These changes were designed to ease access to CHIP and to keep families enrolled in CHIP for the duration of the PHE. For example, families were not denied or disenrolled from coverage for administrative or financial reasons, such as not paying their plan premiums or completing their annual renewal.

Even though the PHE ended on May 11, a federal law passed in December 2022 ends continuous coverage on April 1. This means that after April 1, the Department of Human Services (DHS) must end CHIP coverage if a person does not complete their renewal or if they have income or other changes that make them ineligible for CHIP at the time of their renewal. Renewals will take place over 12 months, and no one will be disenrolled without having a chance to complete a renewal.

What can I do to stay updated and be prepared?

You should make sure that DHS has your current address and phone number. Providing this information will allow both DHS and UPMC for Kids to contact you about your child’s coverage. We can also contact you when your child’s renewal is due.

You can update your information using any of the options below.

  1. Log into or create an account at COMPASS, an online tool that lets Pennsylvanians apply for and renew many health and human services programs, as well as manage their benefit information. You can also download the myCOMPASS PA mobile app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  2. Call the Pennsylvania DHS Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930 or 1-215-560-7226 in Philadelphia Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

How will I know when it is time to renew my child’s CHIP coverage?

You will get a renewal packet in the mail when it is time to renew your child’s CHIP coverage. You will start to receive information in the mail about your renewal 90 days before it is due. It is very important that you complete and return the renewal forms along with any additional documentation requested. You can complete and submit your child’s renewal:

  1. Over the phone. Renew over the phone by calling UPMC for Kids at 1-800-978-8762. We are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  2. Online. Renew online by visiting COMPASS or through the myCOMPASS mobile app.
  3. By mail. Complete and return the renewal forms by mailing them back to the County Assistance Office in the provided envelope.

What will happen if I do not complete my child’s renewal?

If you do not complete your child’s renewal by the renewal due date, your child’s coverage will end. You will receive a notice from DHS explaining the coverage termination.

Where can I learn more about the end of the PHE?

For the most up-to-date information on the PHE, you can review common questions about the end of the PHE on the Pennsylvania DHS website.

Please check back, as we will continue to update this website with more information as it becomes available.

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