Printer Friendly

GOV. CASEY OUTLINES HEALTH CARE PLAN FOR UNINSURED CHILDREN

 GOV. CASEY OUTLINES HEALTH CARE PLAN FOR UNINSURED CHILDREN
 HARRISBURG, Pa., March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Gov. Robert P. Casey today unveiled legislation designed to provide affordable health care coverage for uninsured children under the age of 6 in low and moderate income families.
 "We must act now to provide accessible and affordable health care to our uninsured children," Casey said after touring the children's center at Polyclinic Medical Center here. "For many of those children, even though both parents work, going to the doctor has been a luxury saved only for the most serious illness, and that's simply unacceptable.
 "We need to give those kids the chance to have a healthy start in life."
 The legislation, known as the Uninsured Children's Health Care Act, would offer voluntary health coverage for 107,000 Pennsylvania children whose families are not eligible for Medicaid and are unable to afford individual coverage or cannot obtain coverage through an employer- sponsored plan.
 State Rep. Allen Kukovich (D-Westmoreland), a leader in examining children's health care issues, will be the prime sponsor of the legislation in the House. State Sen. Allyson Schwartz (D-Philadelphia), also an advocate of children's issues, will sponsor the legislation in the Senate.
 "This legislation will help us focus our efforts on preventing illnesses instead of spending so much of our resources treating them," Casey said. "Checkups and routine tests are the best insurance policies we can have against chronic and killer diseases."
 The comprehensive program would provide coverage for doctor visits, emergency accident and medical care, immunizations, prescription drugs, dental and vision care and up to 90 days of hospitalization for young children from families with annual incomes of up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, or $40,200 for a family of four.
 The governor proposed that the program be available starting in January 1993.
 Families would pay premiums based on a sliding fee scale. For example, the annual cost per child to a family of four earning $24,790 would be $93; a family of four earning $33,500 would pay an annual premium of $232.50 per child.
 The state's portion of the costs would be funded through a 2-cent increase in the cigarette tax that was enacted last year. Collections of the tax, which will begin July 1, will generate $20 million each fiscal year.
 The tax is expected to generate enough revenue to initially allow 32,000 children to enroll in the program.
 Under the governor's proposal, the state Insurance Department will oversee the program and will contract with one or more professional health service corporations and hospital plan corporations to provide the benefits. The department would be responsible for regulating rates, policies and contracts.
 The corporations would be responsible for determining eligibility for benefits, collecting premiums, paying claims and establishing premium schedules.
 The proposal is the cornerstone of the governor's health care program outlined in the State of the Commonwealth address in January. Casey also has proposed:
 -- Lifting income requirements so thousands of pregnant women earning between $20,000 and $25,000 and their babies up to age one can qualify for Medicaid.
 -- Making health care more accessible in the hardest hit communities by opening pilot public health clinics in six neighborhood schools.
 -- Enacting a Health Care Consumer Bill of Rights to protect health insurance policyholders from losing their coverage for reasons other than nonpayment of premiums.
 -- Placing a greater emphasis on the training and graduation of family doctors and general practitioners.
 A fact sheet on the program follows:
 UNINSURED CHILDREN'S HEALTH CARE PROGRAM
 GENERAL PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
 The Uninsured Children's Health Care Program will provide low-cost insurance for children up to the age of six whose families do not qualify for Medicaid and have incomes of up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, or $40,200 for a family of four. The program will begin January 1993.
 GENERAL PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
 -- Up to 90 days of hospitalization
 -- Dental care
 -- Vision care (including frames and corrective lenses)
 -- Immunizations
 -- Prescription drugs (with 10 percent co-pay)
 -- Doctor's office visits
 -- Emergency accident and medical care
 PROGRAM FINANCING
 The program -- with an estimated yearly cost of $930 per child -- will be financed by a 2 cent-per-pack cigarette tax that will begin July 1, 1992, and through premiums paid by enrolled families. The cigarette tax will provide approximately $20 million annually for the program.
 EXPECTED ENROLLMENT
 It is anticipated that 32,000 children will be enrolled in the program during its first year.
 PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION
 The state Insurance Department will oversee the program and will contract with one or more professional health service corporations and hospital plan corporations to provide the benefits. The corporations will be responsible for determining eligibility for benefits, collecting premiums, paying claims and establishing premium schedules.
 RECOMMENDED INCOME GUIDELINES/PREMIUMS:
 Family's
 Percent of Family of four Enrollment est. cost
 poverty level income ceiling Fee (A) per child
 up to 150 pct. $20,100 0 pct. $ -0-
 up to 185 pct. $24,790 10 pct. $ 93
 up to 200 pct. $26,800 15 pct. $139
 up to 225 pct. $30,150 20 pct. $186
 up to 250 pct. $33,500 25 pct. $232
 up to 275 pct. $36,850 30 pct. $279
 up to 300 pct. $40,200 35 pct. $325
 (A) The enrollment fee represents a percentage of the $930 annual cost per child for the program. For example, families with a 10 percent enrollment fee would pay $93 in annual premiums.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/25/92
 /CONTACT: Spike Lukens of the Commonwealth News Bureau, 717-783-1116/ CO: Pennsylvania Governor's Office ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


CC -- PH022 -- 1549 03/25/92 13:42 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 25, 1992
Words:936
Previous Article:MOBIL CHEMICAL LEADER IN ELECTRONIC DATA INTERCHANGE
Next Article:BEN & JERRY'S HOMEMADE, INC. ANNOUNCES 1991 YEAR-END RESULTS
Topics:


Related Articles
GARDNER HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL TAKES AIM AT CONTROLLING SKYROCKETING COSTS
GOV. CASEY OFFERS HEALTH CARE CONSUMER BILL OF RIGHTS
HEALTH CARE COVERAGE EXPANDED FOR UNINSURED CHILDREN
Lack of health insurance plagues Montanans.
Independence Blue Cross to Join Cover the Uninsured Week.
Oct. 20 MIChild Awareness Breakfast Aimed to Spotlight Downriver's Uninsured Children.
Universal health care surging in popularity with policy-makers.
Health insurance coverage declines: more children uninsured despite state's economic gains.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters