By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — After months of negotiation, the Corbett administration today said the federal government has approved the governor’s alternative proposal to use Medicaid funds to extend private health coverage to hundreds of thousands of adult Pennsylvanians.

Jennifer Branstetter, Gov. Corbett’s director of policy, insists it is Medicaid “reform” and not simply an expansion of Medicaid.  She says it is about reform first and increased coverage second.

And she says there will be a voluntary employment and job training incentive component.

“What it is, is if you participate in job training, if you want to go get your GED, if you participate in job training opportunities to increase your skills, we’re going to reduce your premiums.  It’s encouraging personal responsibility (and) healthy behavior,” she said.

And Branstetter says those who participate can reduce premiums by up to 50 percent.

She says 14 current Medicaid programs will be reduced to two, with the number and types of visits reduced to align Medicaid to commercial standards.

Coverage in the new private insurance plan would begin January 1st of next year.


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