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Medicaid

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NEWS
August 30, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Ending a yearlong negotiation, the Obama administration on Thursday approved Gov. Corbett's alternative Medicaid expansion proposal, a step that could extend health-care benefits to roughly 600,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians. In what was described as a five-year demonstration project, Pennsylvania got the go-ahead to use federal money to pay private insurers to provide health care to uninsured individuals - many in low-wage jobs. The Obama administration praised Pennsylvania for joining other states that opted into the program under the Affordable Care Act. Corbett administration officials called the agreement a successful compromise.
NEWS
August 10, 1995 | BY LESTER THOMAS
Three jobs, three layoffs and three mouths to feed. Losing my job made me realize the importance of health insurance and how devastating it is to lose it. I thank God that Medicaid was there to protect my family from utter devastation. I hope Congress does not destroy that protection for other working families who may need it. When, after 17 years on the job, Enclosure Corp. of Bristol closed down in 1990, I felt the world closing in on me. My wife already had been sick and I had just been diagnosed with diabetes.
NEWS
April 3, 2012
SINCE LAST summer, when Gov. Corbett's administration started a massive effort to review whether Medicaid recipients were still eligible for their benefits, thousands of Philadelphia children have vanished from the rolls. Here's a look at the change in child Medicaid enrollments in Philadelphia County from August 2011 through January 2012. August 2011: 273,484. September 2011: 270,648. October 2011: 264,341. November 2011: 261,850. December 2011: 247,968.
BUSINESS
May 7, 1991 | By Gilbert M. Gaul, Inquirer Staff Writer
The state budget crisis is about to hit home for hospitals, doctors and pharmacists. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Welfare yesterday said the agency was short nearly $29 million, because of lagging tax revenues, and, as a result, would be able to pay hospitals, doctors and pharmacies only part of what they are owed in the next Medicaid payment cycle. The department is scheduled to mail checks Friday to health-care providers for services they performed in recent weeks for Medicaid recipients.
NEWS
July 13, 2006
ACOUPLE OF questions for Ed Rendell. (You remember him, don't you? He's the guy you see in Philadelphia during football season.): Ed, do you have any idea how hard it is for middle-class Pennsylvania residents to obtain Medicaid to cover a hospital bill? The leaders of our great state just decided, starting July 1, that U.S. citizens must prove they are such by providing an original birth certificate or passport. That seems fair, right? Don't answer just yet. An illegal alien can get Medicaid to cover a hospital bill with a notarized letter, a letter from the doctor and a copy of the bill.
NEWS
April 29, 2009
RE YOUR editorial "Watchdog Bites Guv": I couldn't agree more that an in-your-face, my-way-or-the-highway approach to auditing isn't helpful or productive. But your reference to the auditor general finding $3.3 million in improper Medicaid health insurance benefits in this multibillion-dollar program is akin to the discovery that a dog recently bit a man. While any degree of error in a public program is regrettable, it is a minuscule part of the total spending. Moreover, the auditors failed to take into account the complexities of the program and the fact that many of the alleged errors are inadvertent bookkeeping errors that have nothing to do with the integrity of the program and may not even have caused any mistaken payment for health care.
NEWS
July 26, 1989 | By Russell E. Eshleman Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Commonwealth Court yesterday upheld a ruling by the state Department of Public Welfare denying additional medical-assistance reimbursement to Hahnemann University and Frankford Hospitals in Philadelphia. Senior Judge Jacob Kalish said a new reimbursement system put into place by the department was proper, even though the reimbursements might be "inadequate" or less than actual costs. Jennifer Stiller, a lawyer representing the two hospitals, said the decision would cost Hahnemann and Frankford "in excess of a million dollars.
NEWS
June 22, 2011 | By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - President Obama's health-care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist that government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed. The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services Department. After initially downplaying any concern, the Obama administration said late Tuesday that it would look for a fix. Up to three million more people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly.
NEWS
April 30, 1997 | by Jim Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
A psychiatrist who operated eight inner-city mental health clinics for more than a decade was placed on three years' probation yesterday with three months under house arrest for an admitted $122,000 Medicaid fraud. "I am very sorry for what I have done," Dr. Howard H. Wurtzel, 60, of Lower Merion, told U.S. District Judge Herbert J. Hutton. The lenient sentence came as a relief for the defendant, his family and friends who had praised Wurtzel for being a compassionate, dedicated physician who has helped thousands of patients over the past 34 years.
NEWS
January 19, 1989 | By Bernice Z. Heron, Special to The Inquirer
When the state legislature passed a measure last year to include hospice care in Medicaid benefits starting Jan. 1, it in effect created a new benefit for AIDS patients. Typically, patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome are too young for hospice benefits provided under Medicare, are unemployed and do not have private health insurance. But most do qualify for Medicaid, which is available to people who cannot afford medical care. Prior to Jan. 1, Medicaid did not cover hospice care, which is provided for people who are terminally ill. Hospice program administrators say they are hurrying to incorporate the new state provisions into the package of services they already provide for AIDS patients.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
December 7, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Terry Sullivan doesn't like the Affordable Care Act. Never will. Sullivan believes that the federal government has no business being involved in his choice of health insurance. For 28 years, that insurance was Independence Blue Cross' Special Care plan. But the plan was discontinued in 2013 because it didn't meet the ACA's qualified health plan standards. So Sullivan, of King of Prussia, went on the marketplace and bought the company's silver-tier special reserve plan. "I had no beef with the plan," says Sullivan, 60. It "was basically better than what I had before.
NEWS
December 3, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
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.
NEWS
November 12, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Gov. Corbett this summer achieved what few thought was possible: Overcoming unlikely odds, the Republican won Obama administration approval for Pennsylvania to run its own version of Medicaid expansion. With that the program to bring insurance coverage to about 600,000 people gained support from disparate interests - insurance companies, health-care providers, and advocates for the uninsured. Corbett's reelection loss last week all but doomed his signature program, "HealthyPA," just as it was about to begin.
NEWS
September 8, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Now that the Obama administration has approved Gov. Corbett's private-market alternative to Medicaid expansion - putting Pennsylvania on track to become the 27th state to provide health insurance for low-income residents under the Affordable Care Act - the next issue is how to let people know. The national advocacy group Enroll America plans to ramp up Chase, its phone-call program that reminds people about enrolling in health insurance. Enroll America found that people were 25 percent more likely to buy insurance on the Obamacare marketplace when they received three follow-up calls.
NEWS
August 30, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Ending a yearlong negotiation, the Obama administration on Thursday approved Gov. Corbett's alternative Medicaid expansion proposal, a step that could extend health-care benefits to roughly 600,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians. In what was described as a five-year demonstration project, Pennsylvania got the go-ahead to use federal money to pay private insurers to provide health care to uninsured individuals - many in low-wage jobs. The Obama administration praised Pennsylvania for joining other states that opted into the program under the Affordable Care Act. Corbett administration officials called the agreement a successful compromise.
NEWS
June 24, 2014
THE AFFORDABLE Care Act has accomplished much: Not only has it given health coverage to millions of Americans who didn't have it, but it provided Republicans with something to galvanize around in their attempts to undermine President Obama. In one respect, the Affordable Care Act has also become a perfect controlled experiment: Almost exactly half the states have accepted a federal expansion of Medicaid as part of ACA, and the other half - all ruled by Republicans - haven't. Medicaid expansion is a feature of the ACA that encourages states to expand enrollment eligibility for Medicaid, and reimburses the states 100 percent of the costs for the first few years, and 90 percent thereafter.
NEWS
June 23, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
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.
NEWS
June 6, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A state House committee advanced a bill Wednesday to immediately expand Medicaid eligibility to more than a half-million uninsured Pennsylvanians. The Human Services Committee approved the bill on a 12-11 vote, with three Republicans, including Rep. Gene DiGirolamo of Bucks County, supporting expansion. DiGirolamo, the committee chairman, said he believed budgetary pressures could open the door for the bill to pass the House this month, despite opposition from other Republican leaders and Gov. Corbett.
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