Senate Acts to Help Uninsured Pennsylvanians

Corman’s Legislation Unanimously Passes Senate

(HARRISBURG) – The Senate today approved and sent to the House of Representatives two bills aimed at expanding options for Pennsylvanians without medical insurance coverage. Senate Bills 1422 and 1453 are part of HealthNET PA, a 15-bill 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 (R-34) 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.”

Corman remarked that Senate Bill 1453 is a targeted approach to offer an insurance product to the largest segment of the uninsured, and would allow dependent children to be covered under their parent’s insurance coverage.

Senate Bill 1422, introduced by Senator Don White (R-41), 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.

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.

HealthNET PA is a $100 million blueprint that expands access to health care and medicine to 507,000 uninsured and low-income working Pennsylvanians. It utilizes information technology to control costs and reduce health care-associated infections, and provides expanded insurance options for employers and families.

CONTACT:
Don Houser
Phone: 717 787-1377
Email: dhouser@pasen.gov