Committee Acts to Help Uninsured Pennsylvanians

Proposals Part of Senate GOP HealthNET PA Package

(HARRISBURG) – The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee yesterday approved two bills aimed at expanding health care options for Pennsylvanians with coverage, according to Committee member Senator Jake Corman (34th District). Senate Bills 1422 and 1453 are part of HealthNET PA, a legislative package recently unveiled by Senate Republicans to improve health care access and affordability by building on approaches that are working and doing it in a fiscally responsible way.

Under Senate Bill 1453, introduced by Senator Jake Corman, health insurance coverage would be extended, at the expense of policyholders, to adult dependent children, up to the age of 30, who are not married, have no dependents, are residents of the Commonwealth or enrolled as a full-time student at an institution of higher education and are not provided insurance coverage or eligible for government benefits. Insurers would be able to determine increases in the premium to cover this additional benefit.

“Looking at the demographics in Pennsylvania, the largest segment of the uninsured are young adults age 18 to 34,” Senator Corman said. “This legislation would provide an option that would enable some of those young adults to receive the benefits of health insurance coverage.”

Senate Bill 1422, introduced by Senator Don White (41st District), amends the Insurance Company Law of 1921 to create a Mini-COBRA Small Employer Group Health Plan in the Commonwealth. The legislation would extend the COBRA guidelines that permit temporary continuation of insurance coverage provided by small employers to group plans that employ 2-19 employees.

“This legislation could provide an important safety net to an estimated 150,000 individuals who worked for small businesses but are between jobs,” Senator White said. “This benefit is already in place for larger companies. It is time we make it part of the health insurance network for small businesses as well.”

The federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) provides former employees, retirees, spouses, former spouses, and dependent children the right to temporary continuation of health coverage at group rates when coverage is lost due to certain specific events. However, these benefits only apply to employers with 20 or more employees.

Senator Jake Corman, the Senate’s Majority Policy Chairman, represents the 34th Senatorial District, which includes Centre, Mifflin, Juniata, Perry and Union Counties.

Don Houser
Phone: 717 787-1377