Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

If you're a Pennsylvanian, you should be insured

Pennsylvania healthcare advocates say there are two milestones this week in the long-running push for affordable healthcare and insurance. The state's low-cost insurance program, adultBasic, ended six months ago. At the Spectrum Health Services clinics in West and North Philly, lots of long-time patients are having more trouble paying their way. The Spectrum's chief medical officer said, "They've turned into uninsured patients and accessing all those resources we supply for uninsured patients. We have our case management staff work with people and complete patient assistance applications."

Also this week, the federal COBRA subsidy expires. The program, a benefit of the 2009 federal stimulus package, let workers who were laid-off buy into their ex-employer's health plan. It offered workers a 65% discount instead of requiring them to pay the premiums that their former job once covered.

Without the help, healthcare premium costs are often unaffordable. Congress extended the program several times, but it has finally come to an end. Attorney David Senoff from Caroselli, Beachler & Conboy said, "The long range view is we have the adultBasic care ending, this subsidy ending for COBRA and it really is simply a challenging and hard time for people to remain insured." Senoff and others expect Pennsylvania's uninsured count to rise.

The Clinic medical center in Phoenixville, PA, near King of Prussia, has always served uninsured people, but many older patients are look for care, making it much more difficult for the institution to offer the same services it has always offered. Many of the new patients, who are in their 50s and 60s, are uninsured for the first time in their lives, she said.

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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