FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Tony DeLuca
DeLuca to introduce bill to fund adultBasic
HARRISBURG, Jan. 31 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, has developed and intends to introduce legislation that would provide a funding source so 40,000 working Pennsylvanians would remain insured under the adultBasic health insurance.
The program expires at the end of February and current enrollees could lose their coverage if an alternative funding source for the program is not implemented.
DeLuca said his proposed measure would authorize the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner to borrow funds from existing state accounts and use the catastrophic (CAT) fund surcharge as the basis for repayment. The CAT fund is currently fully funded and the surcharge is not needed for purposes of paying the claims of that fund. In addition, the surcharge is currently dedicated to the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCare) fund which has a balance in excess of $120 million.
"I have devised a viable funding mechanism for adultBasic and now let's explore the possibly of passing the bill in the House and state Senate, "DeLuca said.
DeLuca said the Mcare fund has experienced substantial balances over the last several years due to the significant medical malpractice reforms that were enacted in 2002. Therefore, the Mcare fund does not have an immediate need for the revenues from the surcharge.
The Allegheny County legislator said the CAT fund surcharge produces approximately $50 million per year.
DeLuca is chairman of the House Insurance Committee.
CONTACT: Roseann R. Cadau