The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Breaking News

Local News

September 30, 2013

Pa. health insurance exchanges full of confusion

HARRISBURG — Tuesday is the first day Pennsylvania residents can sign up to enroll in health insurance available through exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act.

But Medicaid reforms sought by the Corbett Administration have not yet been approved by the federal government. That creates a unique circumstance: The working poor whose income is 139 percent of the poverty line are eligible for assistance on Oct. 1. But poor workers with income less than 138 percent of the income are left out in the cold until the state’s Medicaid expansion plan is approved.

“Not only does this not help people who need it, but it’s created a lot of confusion,” said Roy Landis, an advocacy representative for the AARP in Pennsylvania.

Landis said the AARP has fielded numerous calls from people trying to make sense of how the changes in the law will effect their lives. In some cases, the changes mean one spouse may have government-provided health care, but the other still remains uninsured because of the delay in resolving the question of Medicaid expansion, he said.

Earlier this month, Gov. Tom Corbett announced that he hopes to use federal dollars available under the Affordable Care Act to enroll 500,000 mostly working poor Pennsylvanians in health insurance through the exchanges. The governor hopes to rely on private insurers instead of expanding the state’s Medicaid program. It’s an approach being sought in several other states. Corbett is also hoping to go one step further by requiring cost-sharing and adding job-search requirements.

Corbett also refused to operate the insurance exchanges, leaving that task to the federal government.

According to estimates released this week, insurance offered through Pennsylvania’s exchanges will be among the least expensive in the country.

Factoring in tax credits, a family of four in Pennsylvania with $50,000 in annual income will pay an average of $282 a month for a benchmark policy known as the second-lowest-cost silver plan. It would cost $675 without the credits. A 27-year-old in Pennsylvania making $25,000 a year will pay on average $145 per month for the same policy, or $187 before the tax credit.

Text Only
Local News
  • Couple, another man charged in thefts

    Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief against an East Palestine, Ohio, couple and another man in connection with two robberies in rural Mercer County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Taking stock Where’s the beef? Bull’s still missing

    Is it possible that an alien abduction took place in the Mercer area last week? A solid red, 2-year-old Watusi bull with 3-foot-long horns has been missing since July 14 with no trace of its existence left on earth.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Buhl Day honorees

    The Buhl Day committee has chosen for this year’s celebration five honored guests whose volunteer work they feel best showcases the legacy of philanthropic work left behind by Frank and Julia Buhl a century ago.

    July 22, 2014

  • GC pair not hurt in accident injuring 2

    Two drivers were taken to a hospital after an accident at the intersection of state routes 965 and 173 in Worth Township, police said.

    July 21, 2014

  • WaterFire crowds WaterFire doused

    Sharon’s WaterFire wasn’t lacking either of its elements on Saturday. There was steady, day-long rain but the day concluded with the Shenango River ablaze.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Starved’ boy released from hospital

    A 7-year-old boy allegedly starved and beaten by his mother is out of the hospital and ordered out of his Greenville home by Mercer County Common Pleas President Judge Thomas R. Dobson.

    July 20, 2014

  • WaterFire walking tour Time traveling

    A group of more 50 people walked between the raindrops Saturday during an historical tour of downtown Sharon during the city’s WaterFire celebration.

    July 20, 2014 6 Photos 1 Story

  • News briefs from July 19, 2014

    Michigan man charged with assaulting girl here

    Sharon man charged with raping woman

    July 19, 2014

  • For sale Realty transfer tax hike headed for ballot

    Sharon voters will be deciding through a referendum whether city council can raise the realty transfer tax. Council gave first reading Thursday to an ordinance that phrases the question that will be printed on the November ballot.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bella recovering Vet: Dog lucky to be alive, should survive

    Although a veterinarian said an underweight dog found Thursday with a gruesome neck wound was lucky to be alive, her prognosis for recovery is good.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Alleged hit-run driver arrested

    Sharon police said Friday afternoon they had arrested a man believed to have driven a vehicle that struck an 11-year-old boy Thursday and left the scene.

    July 19, 2014

  • Boy ‘was being starved’

    A 7-year-old Greenville boy described as looking like a human skeleton had been starved and beaten by his mother for a year, authorities are saying.

    July 19, 2014

  • Corruption case puts ex-youth leader in rehab program

    The former commander of the local Civil Air Patrol squadron has been admitted into a diversionary program to resolve a criminal case, but the conditions of the program all but forbid his involvement with CAP, his attorney said.

    July 18, 2014

  • GACT’s ‘Steel Magnolias’ opens tonight at Thiel

    Beauty parlor gossip, southern drawls and big hair may sound out of place for Mercer County, but it’s very much a real scene in Thiel College’s William Robinson Theater.

    July 18, 2014

  • Police seek hit-and-run driver who struck boy

    A boy riding a Mongoose bike on Second Avenue in Sharon Thursday evening was struck straight on by a truck whose driver never hit the brakes or looked back, witnesses said.

    July 18, 2014