Jan 15, 2011 12:29 AM GMT
http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/01/pennsylvania_health_insurance.htmlPennsylvania appears headed for the largest one-day loss of health insurance in its history.
The state-subsidized adultBasic program, which covers 42,000 low-income people, will run out of money at the end of February.
Gov.-elect Tom Corbett plans to let it end. He’ll offer adultBasic users a different program — one that advocates for the uninsured say costs four times more and isn’t nearly as good.
Corbett, a Republican, says the state can’t afford to continue adultBasic with an expected $4 billion deficit in the next budget.
For the last six years, much adultBasic funding has come from the state’s four Blue Cross-Blue Shield plans. The agreement expired at the end of 2010.
Advocates for the uninsured want Corbett to require the Blues to kick in money to at least temporarily continue adultBasic.
They say the Blues have a combined surplus of $5.6 billion that’s substantially bigger than in 2005.
“We realize the deficit situation for the commonwealth, but the Blues are certainly not in a deficit, and are really obligated, ethically, morally to make a sustainable contribution,” said Laval Miller-Wilson, executive director of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project.
He acknowledged that additional money from the state and other sources would be needed to continue adultBasic, which cost $163 million last year.
Beyond the 41,953 people covered by adultBasic, the program had a waiting list of 478,785 in December, up from 448,515 in October.