FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown
Brown votes for health insurance program expansion
HARRISBURG, June 29 – State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, D-Phila., said she is pleased that the House of Representatives today passed legislation that would expand adultBasic health insurance program.
Brown said H.B. 1 would give thousands of uninsured adults access to affordable, quality health care.
"This is a step in the right direction to bring access to quality health care for all Pennsylvanians," Brown said. "This issue is particularly important to the City of Philadelphia."
Brown noted that there are about 138,000 uninsured adults between the ages of 19 and 64 in the city.
Based on data collected in late 2007 and early 2008 by Market Decisions LLC, the state Insurance Department has estimated Pennsylvania had 877,927 uninsured adults ages 19-64.
House Bill 1 would add fundamental benefits including prescription medications, chronic disease management, preventative and wellness care, and behavioral health care.
Brown said that by adding prescription drug and behavioral health coverage, H.B. 1 would not only make adultBasic more cost-effective in managing disease and illness, but also would ensure the program qualifies for federal funding to the tune of 54 cents on the dollar.
To be eligible for adultBasic coverage under H.B. 1, a person would have to:
· earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level;
· be a Pennsylvania resident at the time of application and a legal resident of the United States;
· not have insurance or have been insured for the six months immediately preceding application;
· not be eligible for Medicare; and
· be between 19 and 64 years of age.
The bill now goes to the state Senate for consideration.