Pandemic relief funds helped Pennsylvanians stay insured, officials say | Tuesday Morning Coffee

Good Tuesday Morning, all. 

The state’s top insurance officials say federal pandemic relief funds have contributed to a decrease in the number of uninsured Pennsylvanians.

“Pennsylvania saw the lowest uninsured rate in history, at 5.4 percent, thanks in large part to the affordability and access of coverage offered by the American Rescue Plan Act enhanced subsidies,” acting Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael Humphreys said, adding that financial assistance from ARPA saw out-of-pocket premium costs for Pennsylvanians decrease by an average of 9 percent.

Humphreys called on Congress to extend subsidies included in the ARPA to continue to ensure affordable coverage following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We cannot afford to slow or lose this progress,” Humphreys said, adding “We are hopeful that the subsidy extension being discussed in the U.S. Senate quickly becomes law, providing time for the department to review any necessary impact on, or modifications to, filed rates.”

The insurance department also said that nearly 375,000 Pennsylvanians enrolled in health coverage through the commonwealth’s official marketplace, Pennie, during the last open enrollment period, an 11 percent increase compared to 2021. 

“As we navigate through the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania continues to have a strong and competitive insurance market,” Humphreys said.

Our Stuff

NEW: Indiana likely to continue funding Pa.-based Real Alternatives despite questions over spending, according to our sister publication the Indiana Capital Chronicle.

ICYMI: Jennifer Shutt reports: Four members of U.S. Senate unveil bipartisan bill ensuring nationwide abortion rights.

Also from Jennifer Shutt: Stalled U.S. Senate bill on veterans’ burn pit exposure could be revived this week.

On our Commentary page, this morning: Columnist Bruce Ledewitz says that a balanced budget is the way to bring back the working class, especially voters of color.

Christopher Decker writes: Inflation is spiking around the world – not just in the United States.

Elsewhere

From The Lebanon Daily News: Annville and Cleona fire companies formally merge into one department.

Harrisburg mayor temporarily transfers power to police chief after medical procedure, PennLive reports.

GoErie.com reports: Traces of silver carp, an invasive species, found in Presque Isle Bay. What’s the next step?

From The Centre Daily Times: Penn State implements hiring freeze through at least next summer. Here’s what we know.

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the day

(Image via @random_instantaneas/Instagram.com)

What Goes On

11 a.m., Gov. Wolf, Legislators to Reintroduce Program to Provide $2,000 Payments to Support Pennsylvanians. WHERE: Bureau of Folcroft, 1555 Elmwood Ave., Folcroft, PA 19032.

1:15 p.m., Gov. Wolf and Educators Celebrate Historic Increase in Education Funding. WHERE: Marshall Math Science Academy, Main Lobby, 301 Hale Ave., Harrisburg, PA 17104.

And now you’re up to date.



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Cassie Miller

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