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Gov. Corbett Secures 9 Insurers For Medicaid Alternative

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Governor Tom Corbett announced Friday that nine insurers have signed on to provide health coverage for low income Pennsylvanians. That's if his private coverage option gets federal approval.

The governor has refused to expand Medicaid and instead proposed "Healthy Pennsylvania," a program that would cover some 500,000 uninsured.

Federal health officials rejected the original proposal because of burdens it put on recipients, but welfare secretary Beverly Mackereth says the state expects the current plan to get federal approval soon so it's approved nine insurers to provide the coverage.

"We continue to be in ongoing discussion with the federal government around what this will look like. There is no indication that they are going to turn around and say, no, we will not reimburse you."

Mackereth says the plan will be more sustainable than Medicaid but critics say it will cut benefits even for current recipients and deprive the state of millions in federal health care dollars.

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