HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – A state-funded health insurance program in Pennsylvania has now ended, and thousands of residents in the commonwealth are scrambling to find affordable coverage.

The loss leaves about 41,000 working people looking for affordable health insurance (see related story).

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Antoinette Krause, project manager for the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, says there are few options for most people: paying for coverage on the open market, or Medicaid for those who qualify.

Unfortunately, she says, the federal health care program won’t help now.

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“Most of the provisions don’t go into effect until 2014 — that’s why this program was so important.  It would serve as a bridge to get people to the time when Medicaid is expanded.  There is a high-risk pool for people with pre-existing conditions, but you have to be without insurance for six months,” she notes.

She says the Philadelphia Unemployment Project will help those in need find alternatives.  That number is 215-557-0822, ext. 106.

Reported by Lynne Adkins, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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