Another plan to rescue adultBasic

    There’s another last-ditch effort to save Pennsylvania’s low-cost health insurance program.

    Without a quick fix, the state-subsidized adultBasic program will end Feb 28.

    About 40,000 people now get coverage through the program and health advocates worry that many of them won’t find an affordable alternative.

    Senate Democrats have proposed a plan to keep the program alive through the coming budget season when adultBasic might get a second look from Republicans. State Sen. Mike Stack of Philadelphia said he hasn’t heard from Gov. Tom Corbett directly.

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    “He’s made some public statements that the use of the legislative reserves to fund the adultBasic program may not be a bad idea. Hey, you look for positivity wherever you can find it,” Stack said.

    The General Assembly’s $188 million reserve fund allows lawmakers to keep their offices running even if there’s a protracted budget stalemate.

    Stack said the stop-gap plan also increases fees for adultBasic members and asks health insurance companies to contribute $25 million.

    Pennsylvania’s Blues-branded plans — such as Independence Blue Cross and Highmark — have already contributed more than $500 million over the life of the adultBasic program.

    Stack agreed they have been generous — but added the insurers can do more.

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