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Pennsylvania Introduces New Medicaid Program

Posted on January 29, 2012 by admin

On Monday, December 1, 2014, the state of Pennsylvania finally launched its Medicaid coverage plan. Though one year late, because outgoing Gov. Tom Corbett wanted to receive the government’s approval for some changes he wanted to implement in the bill, the expansion offering will not veer off course.

The new program is now known as Healthy Pennsylvania, and coverage for the people affected by the updated Medicaid program will begin on January 1, 2015. Officials of the state of Pennsylvania say that the number of newly eligible residents amounts to 600,000. These are low-income Pennsylvania residents who need health insurance, and experts say the majority consists of single, childless adults. Each and every one of these new Medicaid enrollees will be able to choose from health plans provided by state-funded private insurance companies.

Executive Director of the Georgetown Center of Children and Families Joan Alker says this will not be an easy transition. She states that the process of implementing such an extreme overhaul of the state medical program requires “a lot of work.” Alker also mentions that it is difficult to “figure out who’s going into which plan.”

Another issue that the state of Pennsylvania will face in the coming months is the induction of Democratic Gov.-elect Tom Wolf. He has voiced his dissatisfaction with the way Pennsylvania’s current Gov. Corbett has set up the Medicaid program. Wolf accuses Corbett’s plan of being unnecessarily complex and difficult, so there will likely be reform within the healthcare plan as the governor-elect transitions into office on January 20, 2015.

In any case, Corbett’s version of the medical program, Healthy Pennsylvania, is not very different from Medicaid. Both programs are going to cover prescription drugs as well as doctors, visits to the emergency room and consultations from specialists. Furthermore, a substantial amount of people will be newly eligible for this coverage, including those childless adults who are at 133 percent of the federal poverty level.