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Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner stumps for health care reform

Posted On Mon, January 18, 2010

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario is supporting federal health reforms being discussed in Washington D.C. as “the only viable path” to continue affording cheap health insurance options for state residents.

Ario said that under the current conditions, numerous states are struggling to afford and maintain state insurance programs. He added that Pennsylvania’s adultBasic program for residents without health insurance recently needed to undergo adjustments due to increased usage of the services along with a jump in costs.

"People who come to adultBasic have been without coverage and so are generally in need of costly care,” Ario said. “With our limited funding, we either had to increase costs or drastically cut benefits, as opposed to the modest changes we chose to make for enrollees.”

Ario said that a potential solution for the state’s health insurance problem lay in the healthcare reforms currently being debated, which he said would qualify 85 percent of the state’s uninsured adults for federally subsidized health insurance coverage.

Currently planned adjustments to the adultBasic program will go into effect on March 1 for state residents. Among the adjustments will be an increase in monthly premiums, a doubling of the co-payments for office visits to up to $50, and limitations on inpatient hospital and therapy services.

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