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How to apply

  • I am losing my job and my health insurance. Can I get CHIP for my children?​

    Along with the other eligibility criteria, your children cannot be covered by any other insurance when you apply for CHIP. However, if your children are currently covered, but you are losing your health benefits in the near future, you may apply for CHIP. Be sure to note the end date of their insurance coverage on the application and apply prior to the loss of coverage to help prevent any break in insurance coverage.

    CHIP will help you ensure your children are covered without a break in insurance coverage, as a break in coverage could cause a tax penalty from the federal government.  For more information about tax penalties go to

  • ​Do I have to give my Social Security Number on the application?

    A Social Security number is required for each child that you are applying for and your Social Security number helps ensure that your children’s coverage is reported to the IRS to help prevent a tax penalty. For more information about tax penalties go to​​

  • How can I apply?​

    Applying for CHIP is easy. You can apply online or by mail in the privacy of your own home.


    The online application walks you through all the questions. The applications are submitted immediately and directly, so there's no worrying about it getting lost in the mail. And since COMPASS is Pennsylvania's online application system for various benefit programs, you can apply for different services with just one application.

    First, find a CHIP insurance company in your area. If you apply online, you may not be able to choose from all of the CHIP insurance companies providing coverage in your county. You can also apply with a paper application to any of the CHIP health insurance companies providing coverage in your county by downloading an application now, or by visiting a CHIP insurance company website.


    You can apply by mail by downloading and printing an application now, or by visiting a CHIP health insurance company website.  Just choose the insurance company that’s best for your children and send the application directly to them.

    Once the signed application is received, you should know within four to six weeks whether your children are eligible for CHIP. Unfortunately, incomplete applications will delay the processing of your application. After you're notified that your child is eligible for CHIP, benefits will generally start on the first day of the next month. For example, if you receive notice on April 15th, benefits would start on May 1st.

  • ​How do I find a provider in my area?

    ​In many counties, there are several health insurance companies that offer CHIP. This is great news for you because you can select the company that best meets your family's needs. Find a health insurance company that offers CHIP in your area.​

  • ​What information do I need to apply?

    You will need to know all income received by your household, any private health insurance information for members of your household, and social security numbers for the children who need health insurance.  You should also include Social Security numbers for the head of household with your application, so that we can send you and the federal government the appropriate documentation that your children have minimal essential coverage and will not face a tax penalty.  For more information on possible penalties and the 1095-B tax form refer to the IRS website at​​