Sunday, July 5, 2015

Can Corbett's Medicaid Plan Bring Coverage to the 116,500 Working Uninsured in Southeastern Pennsylvania?

The southeastern Pennsylvania health care community is encouraged by Governor Corbett's unveiling of Healthy PA, the administration's plan to strengthen Pennsylvanians' access to affordable, high-quality health care.

Can Corbett’s Medicaid Plan Bring Coverage to the 116,500 Working Uninsured in Southeastern Pennsylvania?


The southeastern Pennsylvania health care community is encouraged by Governor Corbett’s unveiling of Healthy PA, the administration’s plan to strengthen Pennsylvanians’ access to affordable, high-quality health care.

Of crucial importance are the plan’s provisions for providing health coverage for Pennsylvanians earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. The success of Healthy PA will depend in large part on finding innovative, sustainable ways to maintain our state's existing Medicaid health care safety net while also providing new, affordable, comprehensive health coverage options for low-income uninsured Pennsylvanians. In the Healthy PA plan, these new coverage options would be made available through the state's health insurance marketplace, or exchange.

Healthy PA’s exchange-based coverage options must be affordable for the individuals involved, who are earning less than $15,800 annually, as well as for the state budget, the commonwealth, and health care providers. The hospital community looks forward to additional details about how the Healthy PA framework will access and use the federal funds, available under the Affordable Care Act, to expand coverage for low-income Pennsylvanians, bring economic stimulus to our state, and reduce the burden of uncompensated care for hospitals.

Under Healthy PA, these new coverage options would be consistent with federal requirements for insurance plans offered on state health insurance exchanges. Known as essential health benefits, these requirements define the range of emergency, outpatient, acute care, rehabilitation, and behavioral health benefits insurers must provide. By meeting these requirements, the coverage offered as part of Healthy PA would be comprehensive and aligned with other commercial insurance plans on the exchange.

Hospitals especially appreciate that Healthy PA includes measures designed to strengthen access to primary care. The Governor’s call for loan forgiveness for primary care physicians and increased funding to support their education is welcome news to the region's many medical schools, hospitals, and clinics. The plan also contains provisions that could help improve the still difficult medical liability environment in Philadelphia.

The hospital community of southeastern Pennsylvania sees much promise in Healthy PA. We look forward to working with the Corbett administration and other health care stakeholders to achieve the most important goal: affordable, sustainable, comprehensive health coverage for 116,500 hard-working, low-income, uninsured adults in our region.

Curt Schroder is the Regional Executive of Delaware Valley Healthcare Council of HAP.

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The Field Clinic reports and analyzes health care laws, government policies, and political trends that are transforming the care we receive and the way we pay for it. Read more about our panel of bloggers here.

This blog is produced in partnership with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health-policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Portions of this blog may also be found on and in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

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Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H. Professor, School of Law & Drexel School of Public Health
Jeffrey Brenner, MD Founder of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Medical Director of the Urban Health Institute at Cooper University Healthcare
Andy Carter President & CEO, The Hospital & Healthsystem Assoc. of Pa.
Robert B. Doherty Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs & Public Policy American College of Physicians
David Grande, MD, MPA Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Tine Hansen-Turton Chief Strategy Officer of Public Health Management Corporation
Drew A. Harris, DPM, MPH Director of Health Policy Program at the Jefferson School of Population Health
Antoinette Kraus Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network
Laval Miller-Wilson Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project
David B. Nash, MD, MBA Founding Dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health
Mark V. Pauly, Ph.D. Professor of Health Care Management, Business Economics and Public Policy at The Wharton School
Howard J. Peterson, MHA Managing Partner of TRG Healthcare, a national healthcare consulting firm
Paula L. Stillman, MD, MBA Healthcare consultant with special expertise in population health and disease management
Elizabeth A. W. Williams Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer for Independence Blue Cross
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