Governor Wolf: Pennsylvania Will Not Promote Plans That Don’t Cover Pre-existing Conditions

October 24, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – After recent moves by the federal government to steer more Americans to substandard health insurance plans without protections for pre-existing conditions, Governor Tom Wolf today announced that he will continue to fight to ensure that individuals with pre-existing conditions have access to affordable, quality health care.

The Wolf Administration will not request a waiver to allow health care plans that do not offer consumer protections, including for pre-existing conditions, to receive subsidies meant for comprehensive coverage on the marketplace. The Wolf Administration will continue to encourage Pennsylvanians to buy comprehensive coverage on Pennsylvania’s exchange marketplace, where there are more choices and lower prices this year, and will not promote plans that do not cover pre-existing conditions.

“I will always stand up to protect and expand quality and affordable health care coverage for all Pennsylvanians, including those with pre-existing conditions,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “This most recent action by the federal government is just another attempt to roll back vital consumer protections on pre-existing conditions, lifetime caps, and essential health benefits. Coverage for pre-existing conditions like cancer, pregnancy, and multiple sclerosis is an essential protection for millions of Pennsylvanians and my administration will stand in the way of any attempt to roll back those protections.”

Under the ACA, the federal waivers allow states flexibility to improve their health insurance marketplaces. The federal government’s newly released proposed guidelines, if adopted, would support the proliferation of plans that lack critical elements of meaningful health insurance, such as comprehensive benefits. The proposed guidelines loosen standards by which states can secure such a waiver, which Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said would put the stability of the insurance market at risk.

“The Wolf Administration has taken numerous steps to ensure that Pennsylvanians have access to comprehensive coverage under the ACA and consumer protection and education remains our top priority. As a result of these efforts, our uninsured rate is at an all-time low and ACA insurance carriers are offering competitively priced plans and more coverage options for the 2019 open enrollment,” Altman said. “The Wolf Administration will never pursue a waiver or take any other step that would jeopardize protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions or otherwise undermine Pennsylvanians’ access to truly comprehensive health insurance coverage with critical consumer protections.”

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