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Smart Talk: Medicaid expansion is official; child immunization loophole

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Sep 8, 2015 10:06 AM


What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, September 8, 2015:

Hundreds of thousands of people now are insured through the state's Medicaid program.

The change officially comes months after Governor Tom Wolf authorized expansion of the program under the Affordable Care Act.

It also means that former Governor Tom Corbett's Healthy Pennsylvania plan no longer exists.

All of this doesn't come without questions - where will newly-insured people get health care? How much will this cost the state? How will the state reach those who still haven't signed up for the expanded Medicaid program?

We'll hear from state Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas, and Erin Ninehouser of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network.

Ted Dallas 600x340.jpg

Ted Dallas, Department of Human Services Secretary.

Plus, Pennsylvania requires children get vaccinated if they go to public schools - but a loophole allows parents to put off the shots for as long as eight months.

By that time, the academic year is practically ending, and the peak season for many illnesses has passed.

Eric Holmberg of the nonprofit journalism outlet PublicSource joins me to discuss what he found.

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  • Mark img 2015-09-08 09:20

    Under Gov. Corbett, I didn't make ENOUGH money to get a discount through the ACA in Pennsylvania, and am currently paying full cost for a bare bones, catastrophic insurance policy. Can I now take advantage of the Medicaid expansion, and if so, what are the procedures to enroll?

    • Erin img 2015-09-08 22:09

      Definitely! There's a really good chance you qualify. One of our navigators at the Pennsylvania Health Access Network would be happy to help you to apply. Call us at 877-570-3642. You can learn more here too: The application is short, and you can do it online, by phone, or at your local County Assistance Office. We can help you do it and answer any questions you have about any part of the process.