Friday, January 30, 2009
The number of Pennsylvania residents without health insurance has now eclipsed one million, according to a new Insurance Department study. The survey says 8.2% of Pennsylvania residents don't have health care coverage. Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario says 11.6% of adults are uninsured, while just 4.8% of children aren't covered. He says the state's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is the main reason for that disparity, and is urging lawmakers to increase funding for Pennsylvania's public coverage program for adults. Ario says right now more than one hundred thousand people are currently on the waiting list for AdultBasic coverage. “I think if we all stay flexible and try to work out some kind of situation that takes the waiting list, that's going to be up over 250-thousand people by the end of the year, and clears that waiting list or makes a substantial dent in it. That seems to be a necessity to do.” Says Ario. While most state officials are predicting major budget cuts this year, Ario says he's hopeful lawmakers can find a way to boost public insurance funding which Rendell has marked as a priority.