News

Transition to full Medicaid expansion hits a milestone today

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Apr 27, 2015 3:15 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- The transition to a full Medicaid expansion takes two big steps forward today.

Workers at the state Department of Human Services will shift about 120,000 people from two state health insurance programs to the larger Health Choices plan.

Governor Tom Wolf instituted the plan as part of Pennsylvania's Medicaid program. 

Acting Secretary Ted Dallas says the change should be seamless. 

"The folks that we're going to move on April 27th, we're going to do that all administratively, we'll notify folks that we're doing that, but the change will occur administratively. We'll do it all through our IT systems," he says.

Meanwhile, Dallas says people who are already on private insurance through former Governor Corbett's Healthy Pennsylvania plan don't need to worry.

Dallas says their transition to standard Medicaid will occur between now and September.

"If you have benefits from the Department right now, until we contact you, you don't not have to do anything. Once we contact you, we'll help walk you through the process to move you through the Medicaid expansion," he adds. 

The department says it's mailing letters to anyone who needs to pick a new plan because of the change.

The state says many more enrollees may join because only about half of the people who are now eligible for Medicaid after the expansion have actually signed up.

The Healthy PA program was first created under former Governor Corbett, but is being phased out under Governor Tom Wolf.

The department says as many as 350,000 more people qualify.

It's budgeted a 4.6% increase in Medicaid spending next fiscal year, mainly to support the increase.

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