Senate passes version of “Cover All Kids”

Patriot News Update on the PA Senate’s passage of their version “Cover All Kids.” The specifics require a higher proportion of costs for families over 235% of the federal poverty rate ($47,000 for a family of four), though they still recieve a subsidy, and has limits more limits on families earning over 300% of the poverty rate ($60,000 for a family of four) than the Governor’s proposal. It seems odd to me to create a government program, and then create a littany of reasons not to use it, rather than simply not enact the program at all. It should be noted that the authorizing legislation was in an amendment that was added to a bill that had nothing to do with “Cover All Kids”, and passed late at night.

From the Patriot News:


• Expands state-subsidized children’s health insurance program, which currently tops out with families earning 235 percent of the federal poverty level.

• Helps pay health insurance for families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, and institutes a sliding premium based on ability to pay.

• Allows some families that earn above 300 percent of the federal poverty level to participate under certain conditions, including: If the family has been refused coverage by private insurers due to a pre-existing condition; if the cost of coverage exceeds 10 percent of family income; or if the total cost for the child is greater than 150 percent of the premium under the state’s program.

• Ends the program in 2010, unless the Legislature renews it.

• Allows the Insurance Department to charge copayments for some services covered by the program.