Medical Assistance and CHIP

Description of Indicator
This indicator examines the population that is eligible for Medical Assistance (MA) in July of each year. It also covers the number of residents who are enrolled in Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP).

Why is it important?
Eligible residents who receive Medical Assistance or Medicaid payments have access to valuable physical health, mental health, and substance abuse services. Parents who have difficulty obtaining healthcare coverage due to cost or job loss can enroll in CHIP to support their children. The Pennsylvania Department of Services indicated that 96 percent of enrollees quickly secured checkups and vaccination appointments due to CHIP.

How is the region performing?
From July 2014 to July 2023, the percentage of the population who are eligible for Medical Assistance (MA) in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties trended upward. Both of these county’s populations were above statewide levels. Although MA data was not available for Wayne County before 2018, the percentage of the eligible population also increased but was below statewide percentages. CHIP enrollment declined from January 2020 through 2023 in the three counties. Enrollment is decreasing as eligibility is returning to pre-COVID requirements, and more of the population is ineligible.