Currently hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians lack health insurance of any kind. Uninsured Pennsylvanians include the self-employed, those employed in low wage jobs or working for small companies who do not offer health benefits, those who have recently lost jobs and the insurance that came with it, persons who cannot purchase insurance because of pre-existing health conditions, and immigrants, both documented and undocumented, who are not eligible for public health insurance. The Affordable Care Act decreases the number of the uninsured by eliminating pre-existing condition requirements imposed by health plans, establishing health insurance exchanges selling affordable insurance, and expanding Medicaid. Until these reforms take effect in 2014, there is a patchwork system for the uninsured to obtain health care. This includes insurance programs and health care options like adultBasic, PA Fair Care, hospital charity care programs, pharmaceutical patient assistance programs, and Federally Qualified Health Centers.
PHLP publications are intended to provide general legal information, not legal advice. If you have questions about how the law applies to your particular situation, please consult a lawyer or call the Helpline at 1-800-274-3258.