Federal funds could help Pennsylvania expand health insurance availability

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State accepts funds to expand health insurance initiative

Pennsylvania has officially accepted federal funds in order to expand its Medicaid program. Governor Tom Corbett, whom approved the acceptance of federal funds, is the 10th Republican governor in the U.S. to expand a state-based Medicaid program with the assistance of the federal government. Through the expansion of the Medicaid program, hundreds of thousands of state residents are expected to gain access to health insurance coverage. Governor Corbett has submitted demands to the federal Department of Health and Human Services concerning the expansion effort that he wants to see satisfied, however.

Funds to be used to expand Medicaid program

While federal funds have been accepted, there is still work that must be done before the state’s Medicaid program can be successfully expanded. State officials have begun meeting with the Department of Health and Human Services in order to negotiate an effective plan for the expansion effort. There are numerous things that Governor Corbett wants to see from the state’s Medicaid program in order to make health insurance more accessible, but less of a financial burden on the state.

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Pennsylvania Health InsuranceGovernor aims to introduce changes to state’s program

Firstly, the governor intends to use federal money to cover the cost of health insurance premiums in the private market. This would allow adults that become eligible for the state’s Medicaid program to find the coverage they need through the state’s health insurance exchange, which will be populated with policies from private insurance companies. Corbett is also looking to reduce the Medicaid benefits offered to adults that are already covered by the program. Able-bodied yet unemployed adults that are eligible for the program will also have to find work through an initiative set up by the Corbett administration before they can receive Medicaid benefits.

Expanded Medicaid could offer coverage to 520,000 people

Some 520,000 Pennsylvania residents are expected to gain access to health insurance coverage through the expansion of the state’s Medicaid program. This number could be increased if the state opts to expand its program further. The federal funds provided to the state will become wholly available on January 1, 2014, but the Department of Health and Human Services has not yet determined whether it will comply with Governor Corbett’s plans or not.

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