Some 207,000 central Pennsylvanians could see health subsidy

Written by Tim Lambert and The Associated Press | Mar 27, 2013 7:08 PM
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(Washington) -- A health care advocacy group says nearly 900,000 Pennsylvania adults and children would become eligible for the federal government's help to pay for health insurance beginning next year.

The Washington, D.C.-based group, Families USA, which released the report, points out most of those are working full- or part-time.

Governor Corbett's administration doesn't have its own estimate.

Antoinette Kraus is the project director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, which is a coalition of about 60 organizations in the state.

During a conference call, she said the expansion would create job and save Pennsylvania taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year to treat the uninsured in emergency rooms.

"This is really an opportunity the commonwealth cannot afford to pass up. We're urging our legislators and Governor Corbett, as he goes to meet with [federal Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius next week, to not leave these new federal funds and the jobs they would create and the secure coverage it would provide on the table," she says.

A family of four with an annual income of about $23,500 to $94,000 would be eligible for a tax credit on a sliding scale to help lower the cost of insurance.

Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack told a conference call with reporters the vast majority of eligible people simply don't know about the subsidy.

"It's a six-month enrollment period from October 1st through March 31st of 2014. That's the first enrollment period and anyone who enrolls can gain these tax credit subsidies January 1st, 2014."

Lancaster County ranks third in the state for the largest number of people eligible for the subsidy, behind Philadelphia and Allegheny counties.

Breakdown of midstate residents eligible for Premium Tax Credits, Distribution by Income Level, 2014:

Lancaster -- 44,310

York -- 31,590

Columbia, Luzerne  -- 28,120

Berks -- 27,440

Clinton, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder, Union -- 19,750

Adams, Franklin --19,470

Cumberland, Perry -- 18,070

Dauphin -- 17,250

Schuylkill -- 10,930

Lebanon -- 9,430

Montour, Northumberland -- 8,860

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