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April 7, 2014Alerts

Healthy PA Comments Due April 11

The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is proposing a plan, “Healthy PA,” which would cut services to people currently receiving Medicaid services so that private health insurance coverage can be provided to low-income people who are currently uninsured.  Pennsylvania’s Healthy PA application is now with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for review.

Healthy PA would negatively impact people with disabilities, so it is very important to submit comments.

The Healthy PA plan can be can be found here.

Comments are due by April 11, 2014 at 6:00 AM.  Every comment matters.  Instructions on sending comments are included at the end of this alert.

Tell CMS that Healthy PA should be rejected because:

  • Current Medicaid recipients, including people with disabilities, would have their benefits cut.  Necessary equipment such as wheelchairs, speech-generating devices and oxygen tanks would be limited to either $2,500 or $1,000 per year depending on the plan (Low or High Risk Plan). Tests such as x-rays, MRIs, and lab work would be limited. Inpatient hospitalizations, including rehab and psychiatric stays, would be limited. Outpatient treatment for mental health and substance abuse would also be limited.  Without necessary services, people will be at risk of institutionalization.
  • Successful programs, such as Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD), would end.  MAWD allows people with disabilities to work and still receive their Medical Assistance (Medicaid) services. Without Medicaid, many people currently receiving MAWD would be left without any affordable option for health insurance coverage. Lack of coverage would result in medical debt, worsening of medical conditions or institutionalization.
  • People with low incomes would have to pay monthly premiums.  People with incomes above 100 percent of the federal poverty level ($972.50/month for an individual and $1,987.50/month for a family of four) would be required to pay a monthly premium for coverage through Medicaid or Private Coverage.
  • People would lose coverage for failure to make premium payments.  Coverage through Medicaid or the Private Option would be cancelled for non-payment of the premium for three consecutive months. Lack of coverage could result in medical debt or worsening of medical conditions.

Comments are due by April 11, 2014 at 6:00 AM.  Comments on the “Healthy Pennsylvania Private Coverage Option Demonstration” can be submitted online or emailed to  Comments may also be mailed to:  Megan Stacy, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mailstop: S2-01-16, Baltimore, Maryland 21244.  Every comment matters.

Contact:  Kelly Whitcraft, DRN Policy Coordinator, at or 800-692-7443, extension 323.

Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh