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12/6/2013

Gov. Corbett Announces Next Step of Healthy Pennsylvania

News for Immediate Release

Dec. 6, 2013

Gov. Corbett Announces Next Step of Healthy Pennsylvania

Public Hearings to be Held in Six Locations Statewide on Medicaid Reforms and Private Coverage Option

Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett today announced the next step of his Healthy Pennsylvania plan to improve and modernize the Medicaid program and increase access to affordable, quality health care for Pennsylvanians. The commonwealth is formally beginning the process to obtain approval from the Obama Administration to make needed changes in the Medicaid program.

“This is an important day for Pennsylvania as we kick off the official statewide public conversation about the future of health care in the commonwealth,” Corbett said. “My Healthy Pennsylvania plan provides a state-based solution to ensure increased access to health care for all Pennsylvanians in a fiscally sustainable manner.”

The Healthy Pennsylvania Medicaid modernization plan includes two critical parts: reforming the current Medicaid program and offering a Private Coverage Option for uninsured Pennsylvanians. It will:

1.   Increase healthcare access for more than 500,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians;

2.   Promote healthy behaviors, improve health outcomes and increase personal responsibility;

3.   Better align benefits to match health care needs; and

4.   Implement a strategy for sustainability by aligning the current Medicaid program with private coverage. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) will undertake a formal process required by the federal government in order to obtain approval for the plan, which includes a statewide public comment period for 30 days with six public hearings across the state and two webinars. The department will incorporate the feedback into the formal plan, known as a waiver, and then submit it to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for approval.

“This plan includes common sense reforms to our Medicaid program to safeguard it for our most vulnerable citizens for years to come,” said DPW Secretary Beverly D. Mackereth.  “But, at the same time, it allows access to private coverage options for more than half a million additional Pennsylvanians and promotes consumer access to health insurance through the private insurance marketplace.”

The proposed Healthy Pennsylvania Medicaid modernization plan focuses on Governor Tom Corbett’s three key priorities under the Healthy Pennsylvania plan:  improving access; ensuring quality and providing affordability. 

Currently, one in six Pennsylvanians receive Medicaid benefits and the costs of the Medicaid program account for 27 percent of the commonwealth’s entire general fund budget. These costs continue to grow by hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

The proposed plan will:

 

·         Increase access to private market coverage through the Healthy Pennsylvania Private Coverage Option for Pennsylvanians 21 years of age or older, but under 65 years of age, with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL);

·         Modify the existing Medicaid benefit designs to provide health coverage based on healthcare needs, including moving from multiple benefit packages to two plans – a critical high care plan and a less complex plan for individuals without critical care needs; and

·         Provide incentives for healthy behaviors and increased independence through greater access to employment opportunities. 

“We believe encouraging healthy behaviors and appropriate care, including early intervention, prevention and wellness, will benefit all Pennsylvanians,” said Mackereth.

The public comment process is open as of today and will run through Jan. 13, 2014. Interested participants for the public meetings or webinars should register at http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/healthypa or by calling 1-877-395-8939 or 1-800-654-5984 (TDD users).  Each individual must register to provide verbal comments.

Written comments can also be submitted to the department via e-mail at RA-PWHealthyPA1115@pa.gov, or sent to the following address:

Department of Public Welfare

Attention:  Healthy Pennsylvania Waiver

P.O. Box 2675

Harrisburg, PA  17105-2675

Comments received within 30 days of the posting of the public notice will be reviewed and considered.

Persons with a disability who require an auxiliary aid or service may submit comments using the AT&T Relay Service at 1-800-654-5984 (TDD users) or 1-800-654-5988 (voice users).

For more information about Governor Corbett’s entire Healthy Pennsylvania plan, visit www.pa.gov. For more information about the Healthy Pennsylvania Medicaid modernization plan or to learn about or register for the public comment process, visit www.dpw.state.pa.us/healthypa.

Media contact: Christine Cronkright, Governor’s Office, 717-783-1116

                         Eric Kiehl DPW, 717-425-7606

Editor’s Note:

 

Public Hearing Dates and Locations for In-Person Attendance

 

Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, in Erie, PA

Time:  10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Bayfront Convention Center

1 Sassafras Pier

Erie, PA 16507

Registration Deadline: Monday, Dec. 16, 2013

 

Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, in Pittsburgh, PA

Time:  10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Allegheny County Courthouse

436 Grant St.

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Registration Deadline: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013

 

Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Philadelphia, PA

Time:  10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

National Constitution Center

525 Arch St.

Philadelphia, PA  19106

Registration Deadline: Monday, Dec. 30, 2013

 

Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Scranton, PA

Time:  10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Hilton Scranton & Conference Center

100 Adams Ave.

Scranton, PA, 18503

Registration Deadline: Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014

 

Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, in Altoona, PA

Time:  10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Blair County Convention Center

1 Convention Center Drive

Altoona, PA  16602

Registration Deadline: Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014

 

Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, in Harrisburg, PA

Time:  10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

The State Museum of Pennsylvania

300 North St.

Harrisburg, PA 17120

Registration Deadline: Monday, Jan. 6, 2014

Public Hearing Dates for Webinar Presentation

Monday, Dec. 16, 2013

Time:  9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013

Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014

Time:  9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Registration Deadline: Friday, Jan. 3, 2014

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