Protesters urge Corbett to continue low-income insurance

    Health-care advocates want Gov.-elect Tom Corbett to keep AdultBasic running. Protesters delivered a petition to Corbett’s transition offices Friday, urging the Republican to find new funding for a program offering health-care coverage to 41,000 low-income Pennsylvanians. Corbett wants AdultBasic participants to enroll in a “Special Care” program offered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurers, but Antoinette Kraus of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network says the alternate program won’t work. “It’s between a 300 to 400 percent increase,” she said, “depending on where it is. Also, it has limited doctor’s visits, and very strict limits on essential services.” AdultBasic rates start at $36, but Special Care’s premiums begin at $80. The state is warning AdultBasic enrollees their coverage will likely end Feb. 28. The plan is funded by contributions from the Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurers, but their agreement with the state expired at the end of 2010, and a new deal hasn’t been brokered. The companies agreed to provide additional funding to keep AdultBasic running into 2011, but the money has run out faster than initially expected. Corbett’s spokesman, Kevin Harley, did not return three calls for comment on this story, placed over the course of several days.

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