BLOG: Medicaid expansion hits a milestone (ROUND-UP)

By: Sophie Stone, Deputy Press Secretary

December 11, 2015

Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf announced that more than half a million Pennsylvanians have enrolled in HealthChoices since Pennsylvania expanded its Medicaid program. Governor Wolf and Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas announced the milestone at an enrollment event at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

In February, Governor Wolf continued his push for “Government That Works” by announcing his decision to expand Medicaid eligibility in Pennsylvania under the Affordable Care Act. The expansion alleviates confusion, removes unnecessary red tape, and streamlines the system so that people can see a doctor when they are sick and healthcare professionals have more time to concentrate on providing quality care.

Because of this expansion, hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians now have better potential health outcomes. Check out some of the statewide coverage of yesterday’s announcement:

WITF: Pa. Medicaid expansion hits a milestone: 500,000 new enrollees.

“More than 500,000 Pennsylvanians now have health insurance for the first time through the state’s Medicaid program. The news comes 10 months after Governor Tom Wolf loosened eligibility rules… Governor Wolf made a campaign promise to expand the program, and checked it off his list with a February announcement… Who benefits? Speakers at a press conference at Penn State Hershey Medical Center say bus drivers, cleaning people, single parents, and many others who often had to rely on the emergency room if something went wrong. Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas says Medicaid expansion has been one of the most rewarding experiences of his career.” [WITF, 12/10/15]

Harrisburg Patriot-News: Gov. Wolf celebrates Obamacare health coverage expansion.

“Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expansion now covers more than 500,000 people. The figure pertains to people who now have government funded health insurance as a result of the state’s expansion of Medicaid which became available on Jan. 1. Pennsylvania was among the slower states in expanding Medicaid… While former Gov. Tom Corbett, an Obamacare opponent, eventually decided to expand Medicare, he did so under a plan that imposed certain cost-sharing and other requirements which were opposed by Democrats… State officials have said more than 100,000 more Pennsylvania residents are eligible for the expanded coverage… The federal government is paying 100 percent of the medical costs of the expansion through next year, then will gradually scale back the federal share to 90 percent by 2020 and beyond.” [Harrisburg Patriot-News, 12/10/15]

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania has exceeded 500,000 new enrollees.

“Pennsylvania’s expansion of Medicaid, which began earlier this year, has exceeded half a million new enrollees, state officials announced today. Officials credit the program’s expansion with dropping Pennsylvania’s uninsured rate from 14 percent in 2013 to 8 percent today… ‘Safety-net providers and health clinics are seeing more patients with insurance, reducing the burden of uncompensated care,’ said Antoinette Kraus, director of advocacy group the Pennsylvania Health Access Network. ‘Most importantly, though, working Pennsylvanians — school bus drivers, cashiers, hairdressers, home care workers, waitresses, child care workers, the people who keep our communities running — no longer have to live with the fear that one accident or illness could wipe them out financially.’” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 12/10/15]

Philadelphia Inquirer: Pa. passes half-million mark in Medicaid expansion.

“More than 500,000 Pennsylvanians, including 110,954 from Philadelphia, have signed up for Medicaid since Gov. Wolf expanded the program this year, helping the state’s uninsured rate drop to 8 percent from 14 percent, the governor said Thursday. The gain in Philadelphia represents a 27 percent increase from Dec. 31… The statewide increase from December was 30 percent.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/10/15]

AP: Wolf: 500,000 Pennsylvanians enrolled in Medicaid expansion.

“Gov. Tom Wolf says the signups of 500,000 Pennsylvanians for health care under the Medicaid expansion are part of keeping a campaign promise he made in last year’s election campaign… Wolf, a Democrat who expanded Medicaid eligibility under the federal Affordable Health Care Act soon after he took office in January, says he hopes the number of enrollments will continue to grow. The speakers said many of the newly eligible people had not previously had any health care insurance.” [AP, 12/10/15]

FOX43: VIDEO: Wolf: 500,000 Pennsylvanians enrolled in state’s expanded Medicaid program.

“State and health officials are celebrating a major milestone in Pennsylvania’s expanded Medicaid program. Governor Wolf announced that 500,000 people have signed up for the government-funded health insurance… The state expanded Medicaid back in January under the Affordable Care Act– giving more people access to health insurance. ‘Not having health insurance causes people to forgo care and delay preventive care,’ Penn State Hershey Medical Center CEO and Vice President Craig Hillemeier said. ‘That leads to poor outcomes, for the individual and higher health care costs for society.’” [FOX43, 12/10/15]

WTAJ: PA Medicaid milestone.

“Governor Wolf says more than a half million Pennsylvanians have signed up for HealthChoices, the state’s Medicaid expansion program. The governor expanded the program earlier this year as part of the Affordable Care Act. The change allows people who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to enroll. The State Department of Human Services says about a third of the new enrollees are 21 to 30 years old, about a fourth are 31 to 40. Nearly 60 percent are white and more than half are women.” [WTAJ, 12/10/15]

WGAL: VIDEO: Rate of uninsured Pennsylvanians almost cut in half, Wolf says.

Watch this newscast here. [WGAL, 12/10/15]




See the blog about Medicaid Expansion by the Numbers (INFOGRAPHIC).

Read the announcement press release: Governor Wolf Announces Pennsylvania’s Medicaid Expansion Population Has Exceeded 500,000.

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