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August 13, 2015

Settlement leads to health coverage for low-income women in Pa.

More than 59,000 eligible for full Medicaid

Low-income women in Pennsylvania now have access to full Medicaid coverage, the result of a lawsuit settlement representing 75,000 women.

The women were represented by two Philadelphia agencies – the Women’s Law Project and Community Legal Services – in a federal lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS).

The women were enrolled in SelectPlan for Women, a limited type of Medicaid that only covers family planning services.

The suit contended DHS was not transitioning the women to full Medicaid plans in a timely way.

In response to the lawsuit, DHS reviewed the cases and determined that more than 59,000 were eligible for Medicaid, leading the state to transfer the women to full coverage.

The additional 14,700 women were referred to the federal healthcare marketplace.

“Now that the state has finally expanded Medicaid as intended under the Affordable Care Act, there is simply no good reason to exclude anyone qualified from it. Not even women,” said Sue Frietsche, an attorney with the Women’s Law Project.

A state spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.