The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

February 1, 2014

First month of health reform has been smooth, insurers say

JOHNSTOWN — After the challenging rollout of the Affordable Care Act’s federal insurance exchange late last year, the region’s two leading insurance companies report a smooth first month of coverage.

“UPMC Health Plan has had limited issues related to implementation of the Affordable Care Act,” the company said in a statement.

“In general, we have seen modest sales volume for the exchange during the first few months. Things are going pretty much as we expected, and our ability to handle any and all situations that arise has been successful.”

“The federal marketplace enrollment has been rocky because of ongoing changes by the federal government,” Highmark Health Plan President Deborah Rice-Johnson said in a press release earlier in January.

“Despite the challenges, Highmark remains committed to making affordable health care coverage available through the federal marketplace, and we are pleased to see that so many individuals chose Highmark as their health insurance provider."

Like other reports, Highmark said its enrollment demographics have shown there are fewer younger people signing up.

But it’s still early, the company stressed.

“Because federal marketplace enrollment runs through the end of March, demographics at this point may not provide a total picture,” a press release said. “We can say that our membership is in line with federal marketplace numbers, which shows that there are more older purchasers than younger purchasers.”

The problem is, the Affordable Care Act is based on spreading the cost of health care to a larger population.

“These demographics are what we anticipated but are of concern because having balanced membership is fundamental to insurance,” Highmark said in the release.

A last-minute rush for coverage by Jan. 1 has bogged down Highmark’s enrollment process, the company noted.

“Highmark is working hard to enroll members to ensure they have active coverage as quickly as possible, and we appreciate our members’ patience,” the company said. “If a situation occurs where a member needs access to coverage and has not yet heard from Highmark about the status of his or her coverage, we are encouraging members to contact member service.”

Randy Griffith covers health care for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/photogriffer57.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • bank1 West End bank robbed

    The West End branch of AmeriServ Financial was robbed Tuesday morning, two days before the branch is scheduled to close.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather_2 Old Man Winter returns to area

    Just when you think we’ve finally escaped the cold temperatures, winter swoops back in to remind us it’s not going away just yet.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • City seeks support for sewer revamp

    The city is looking for backup from the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority in spreading what they call “true” facts and figures regarding the city’s encompassing sewer revamp.

    April 15, 2014

  • Airport gets lift with $180G grant

    The John Murtha Johnstown–Cambria County Airport needs to replace some basic maintenance equipment: a pickup truck, painting machine, chain saw, weed eater, hand tools and more.
    So, on Tuesday, the airport’s authority agreed to accept Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Aviation grant money that already has been tentatively allocated.

    April 15, 2014

  • Cresson asks court to force ex-chief to sign pact

    An agreement reached more than a month ago between Cresson Borough Council and its former police chief still has not been signed, and the borough is asking a judge to intervene.

    April 15, 2014

  • hamer 16 Mom told to seek help for addiction

    A Johnstown woman charged with tossing her 4-month-old baby and with drug-related offenses pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Cambria County court on Tuesday.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Elder justice events set

    In an effort to combat elder abuse in area communities, an elder justice seminar will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 24 at the Johnstown Senior Center, 550 Main St., downtown Johnstown. In addition, a free elder abuse clergy training seminar will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. April 25 at Moxham Lutheran Church, 500 Park Ave., Johnstown.

    April 15, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/16/2014

    April 15, 2014

  • bomb1 VIDEO | A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Freeh gets expedited appeal in Penn State lawsuit

    April 15, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads