December 4, 2014
THIS WEEK, the state launched enrollment for its new Medicaid program that provides health care for low-income people. Before lamenting the downsides of "Healthy PA," we must applaud the fact that 600,000 Pennsylvanians who had fallen through bureaucratic cracks last year under the Affordable Care Act will now be able to have health-care coverage. The newly eligible are primarily poor working adults, like home health-care workers, waitresses, construction workers and others who are raising families on low incomes and can't get coverage through their employer.
December 3, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Toll-free phone lines were jammed, and low-income workers streamed into sign-up sites as enrollment opened Monday for expanded health insurance coverage under Medicaid. An estimated 600,000 people - most working at low-wage jobs - are eligible for Medicaid through Healthy PA, the state's alternative to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. First-day enrollment numbers were unavailable, Kait Gillis, a spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services, said at the end of the day. Even late in the day, callers to the state's toll-free line were told to call back later because of the high volume of calls.
December 1, 2014 |
When you ask residential developers in Philadelphia who their target audience is, the typical response is "eds and meds," meaning those who work in education and health care. Both seem impervious to the economic stresses and strains that affect other business sectors, so developers who focus on building for-sale and rental units near medical centers and universities are not taking great risks. Health care is the fastest growing because America is aging rapidly and demand for services is increasing.
November 30, 2014 |
It took Holly Phares 27 days and 20 hours to enroll in health insurance during 2013's disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act website. She doesn't expect a repeat of her slog through last year's cyber hell. But the choral director for Tabernacle United Church in West Philadelphia will be shopping the marketplace for a better deal rather than simply reenrolling in her Independence Blue Cross platinum PPO. "They say there are twice as many choices" in the marketplace, says Phares, 51. "I'm just not going to stick with Blue Cross.
November 23, 2014 |
Rita Hodge Sellers, 84, a longtime nurse, health administrator and educator, died Wednesday, Nov. 5, at Normandy Farms Estates retirement center in Blue Bell. Mrs. Sellers was known by family and friends as a strong mentor who was passionate about helping others, recalled her daughter, Suzanne Rita Sellers. She described her mother as someone who worked to keep herself healthy and whose favorite hobby was traveling. "She visited Rome, China, and Africa," said Suzanne Sellers. "I still remember when she and my dad took me to Paris as a graduation present when I was in college.
November 19, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - The state Department of Public Welfare chief said Monday that her agency was prepared for an onslaught when enrollment for "Healthy PA," Pennsylvania's Medicaid expansion alternative, begins in less than two weeks. The website dedicated to enrolling hundreds of thousands of uninsured low-income Pennsylvanians under the Affordable Care Act is seeing a spike in users following the launch of a $2 million statewide ad blitz. The state anticipates that about 600,000 people - many of them the working poor - are eligible to get coverage beginning Jan. 1 under the Corbett administration's proposal, which uses Medicaid funding to pay private insurers.
October 31, 2014 |
Abington Health in Montgomery County and Center City's Jefferson Health System have taken a step closer to a merger by signing a letter of intent to work toward a final agreement, the two organizations said Wednesday. The proposed deal, which could be completed next year, comes just months after Jefferson split amicably from its former longtime partner, the highly profitable Main Line Health system. Stephen Klasko, Jefferson's president and chief executive, said the structure of the proposed merger with Abington would allow him to achieve something that was not possible with Main Line Health.
October 29, 2014 |
CALL IT a leap of faith or call it a risky move. The Philadelphia School District announced yesterday that it would distribute $15 million to schools on Monday from projected health-care savings with the teachers union, despite an injunction temporarily blocking the changes. Common Pleas Judge Nina Wright Padilla last week ruled in favor of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers' request to stay all changes to their health-care benefits. The district and the School Reform Commission said they would appeal the decision.
October 26, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - A trio of Trump Taj Mahal waitresses - Susan Blight, Patti Pinchock, and Valerie McMorris - have been with the casino since it opened on April 2, 1990. All three said Friday they sense its last days are on the near horizon. "We just feel violated," said Pinchock, 53, of Egg Harbor Township, who held up a sign that read, "Healthcare RIP. " Added McMorris, 45, of Galloway Township: "A Delaware judge, with a stroke of a pen, took away our health-care benefits. Instead of being part of the middle class, we are now the working poor.
October 23, 2014 |
PARENTHOOD should be affordable in this country, but the cost of raising a child from birth to adulthood is now a quarter of a million dollars and projected to double by the time today's toddlers reach their teens. Will having kids soon be out of reach economically for many American families? A recent report from the Center for American Progress found that middle-class families are feeling an unprecedented economic squeeze - caught between stagnating wages and the exploding cost of basics like housing, health care and children's education.