Enrollment in ‘Healthy PA’ Begins Today
State officials estimate over 600,000 Pennsylvanians will gain coverage, insuring those whose income is above current Medicaid eligibility, leaving them in the ‘gap’. It also intends to provide more plan options to low-income families.
Mary Hicks of Murrysville was someone stuck in the gap who will be covered by Healthy PA. She acknowledged that “without health insurance, you’re pretty much out of luck.”
Those who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level are eligible for enrollment in the expansion. This equates to about $16,000 for a single person and almost $33,000 for a family of four.
On a conference call with the media, advocacy groups urged citizens to enroll, even in the face of opposition from Governor-Elect Tom Wolf. Sharon Ward, Director of the PA Budget and Policy Center acknowledged that the program is likely to be changed, but that it “should not interfere with coverage.”
Current enrollees may however be negatively affected. Kristen Damma, a Staff Attorney at Community Legal Services dubbed the new benefit packages given to current medicaid recipients, “severe.”
Healthy PA is Gov. Corbett’s plan to expand health coverage but only through private insurance and not under the intended Medicaid program.