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Governor Rendell Tells Congress 'Prescription for Pennsylvania' Will Improve Health Care Climate for Small Businesses
Date:2/26/2008

ands access to affordable health care coverage, improves the quality of care Pennsylvanians receive and gets health care costs under control for employers and employees. Since it was rolled out in January 2007, it has been recognized by The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Families USA for its reasonable approach to health care reform.

Several pieces of the Prescription for Pennsylvania have been enacted, including new legislation that puts Pennsylvania at the nation's forefront in tackling and reducing hospital acquired infections; a new program that deals with how chronic diseases are treated; and updates in decades-old laws which allow nurse practitioners, midwives, physician's assistants and dental hygienists to practice to the full extent of their education and training.

Pennsylvania has also expanded its Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to Cover All Kids and has implemented a new approach to long term living services.

The two critical pieces of Prescription for Pennsylvania that remain to be passed are the two that, most directly, will help small businesses. The first is a plan to Cover All Pennsylvanians - called CAP - that will make affordable basic health insurance available to eligible small businesses that do not presently offer health insurance to their employees and to the uninsured. This coverage will be offered through the private insurance market.

Small business employers can participate if they have 50 or fewer employees who earn less than the state average wage and currently do not offer health insurance to their employees. Employers who choose to join CAP will pay approximately $130 per employee per month, and employees will pay a premium of $40 or $60 per month depending on family income. If family income is less than 150 percent of federal poverty level, the employee will not pay a premium.

All uninsured Pennsylvanians, no matter what size company they w
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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