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- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
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- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
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- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
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- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
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adultBasic Premium Increases Will Make Insurance Unaffordable
The Pennsylvania Department of Insurance announced changes this week to the state’s adultBasic health insurance program that could make coverage unaffordable to thousands of Pennsylvanians who desperately need it to address urgent medical needs.
The changes to adultBasic, which will go into effect in March 2010, include an 80% increase in monthly premiums for the 3,500 participants who buy into the program at cost, from an average of $330 to $600 a month. Higher cost-sharing and utilization limits will also impact the more than 41,000 enrollees in the adultBasic program.
In a press release issued by the Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN), Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center Director Sharon Ward said: “Many individuals who cannot afford these higher premiums will have no recourse but to turn to hospital emergency rooms for treatment or to take on thousands of dollars in medical debt that they cannot afford.
“Pennsylvania’s adultBasic program has provided an affordable insurance option for as many as 90,000 individuals annually,” Ward added. “It is a critical safety net for working individuals who are unable to obtain – or to pay for – employment-based coverage. In these bad economic times, and even with existing budget constraints, the Commonwealth must take steps to keep this insurance option affordable.”
Read the full PHAN press release here. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is a member of PHAN.
The proposed changes in the adultBasic program underscore the urgent need for federal health care reform, but until reform is implemented in 2013, Pennsylvanians will need a strong, affordable adultBasic program.
PHAN is calling on the Governor and General Assembly to reconsider the steep premium increases and higher cost-sharing proposed this week for adultBasic.
The coalition is also urging Pennsylvania’s four nonprofit Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans to recommit and increase their contributions to the Community Health Reinvestment Fund, which helps pay for the adultBasic program. These funds will lapse in 2010 unless a new agreement is reached.
Finally, PHAN calls on the General Assembly to bring Pennsylvania in line with every other state in the nation by enacting a tax on smokeless tobacco and other tobacco products and to use a portion of that revenue to support adultBasic and prevent these premium increases.