Corbett names insurers for Medicaid plan

Posted: June 23, 2014

HARRISBURG - The Corbett administration on Friday announced the list of insurance companies that had met its qualifications to provide coverage to hundreds of thousands of the uninsured by early 2015.

Under Gov. Corbett's proposed Medicaid expansion alternative, nine insurance companies would provide health care to as many as 600,000 low-income residents - most of them the working poor - who make too much for traditional Medicaid but whose employers provide no coverage.

"The governor is incredibly pleased with the response," said Jennifer Branstetter, Corbett's secretary of policy and planning. "The companies stepped up and came up with innovative plans."

The administration had hoped to get two bids from insurance companies in each of nine regions in the state. In the end, some areas received as many as six bids.

The companies that met the bid requirements in the southeast are United Healthcare, Aetna Better Health, Health Partners, Gateway Health, and Vista.

If Corbett's "Healthy Pennsylvania" plan receives federal approval, the uninsured individuals could be enrolled by Jan. 1.

Corbett rejected traditional Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, calling it too expensive in the long term, but in September he said he would seek a federal waiver, as Arkansas had, to cover the uninsured by using federal dollars to pay private insurers.

The federal government is paying 100 percent of the costs for expanded Medicaid coverage nationwide in the first three years of the program, starting this year, and no less than 90 percent after 2016.

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