Wolf Administration Announces Appointees to the Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority

first_img Healthcare,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced the incoming leadership of the Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority. The authority is a state-affiliated entity that will create, manage, and maintain Pennsylvania’s state-based health insurance marketplace. The state-based exchange authority will work to develop and maintain a competitive marketplace, educate consumers on their health insurance options, ensure consumers are treated fairly, identify pathways to lower premiums, and provide resources for those seeking additional support.Act 42, House Bill 3, outlines the process for appointing authority board members. Four voting members are appointed by the governor, while one voting member each is appointed by the speaker of the house, the house minority leader, the senate pro tempore, and the senate minority leader.“Pennsylvania is confidently moving towards a state-based exchange,” Gov. Wolf said. “The individuals appointed to the authority bring years of health care experience, consumer knowledge and industry vision. Their diverse backgrounds will allow the authority to work for all Pennsylvanians and help the state achieve its goal of becoming a leader in health care reform.”Gubernatorial Appointments:Paula Sunshine, Independence Blue CrossSheryl Kashuba, UPMC Health PlanTia Whitaker, Pennsylvania Association of Community Health CentersAntoinette Kraus, Pennsylvania Health Access NetworkSpeaker of the House Appointment:Mark Nave, Highmark“We owe it to all Pennsylvanians to make the system as reliable and responsible as possible,” House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler said. “I look forward to seeing the commission’s efforts come to fruition as they work to lower healthcare costs and create an exchange that works for everyone in our Commonwealth.”House Minority Leader Appointment:Jessica Brooks, Pittsburgh Business Group on Health“The success of our bipartisan work to make good health insurance more affordable in Pennsylvania depends largely on how well the new exchange authority works,” said House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody. “I’m very encouraged by the high caliber of people who have joined this effort from the beginning, such as Jessica Brooks of the non-profit Pittsburgh Business Group on Health who is a recognized expert in matters of health care value, access and quality.”Senate Pro Tempore Appointment:Todd Shamash, Capital Blue Cross“The Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority was collaboratively established through legislation earlier this year,” Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said. “This authority is a significant undertaking and will help to facilitate greater flexibility with implementation of health care programs for residents across our commonwealth. I am pleased to appoint Todd Shamash to the authority, and I am confident that his background and experience will provide good perspective as part of the leadership team.”Senate Minority Leader Appointment:Laval Miller-Wilson, Pennsylvania Health Law Project“The new health care exchanges are going to be a positive step for access and affordability of health insurance for Pennsylvania residents,” Senator Jay Costa, Senate Minority Leader, said. “I was so pleased to be part of the bipartisan, bicameral process to make this happen; insurance industry and consumer input was part of that legislative process and their representation on the board will be important as we move forward.”The exchange authority also includes, as outlined in Act 42, agency heads from the departments of health, human services and insurance. These are:Dr. Rachel Levine, Department of Health, SecretaryTeresa Miller, Department of Human Services, SecretaryJessica Altman, Pennsylvania Insurance Department, Commissioner“I am incredibly proud to be taking these steps and moving forward with making health care more accessible and affordable for the roughly 400,000 Pennsylvanians buying individual health insurance,” Commissioner Altman said. “I am confident we can provide a better experience for consumers and provide much-needed options to get Pennsylvania covered.”Additionally, an executive director has been chosen to lead the Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority. Zachary Sherman, who currently serves as the director for the HealthSource RI, Rhode Island’s health insurance exchange, will provide the experience and leadership needed to help Pennsylvania move into a state-based exchange.Act 42, signed into law July 2, 2019, will create an online health insurance exchange operated by the state. The legislation provides for lower premiums and increased access to health insurance in the individual health insurance market by developing a state-based health insurance exchange and a new reinsurance program. The anticipated reinsurance contribution will save Pennsylvanian consumers up to $250 million in annual health insurance premiums.The state-based exchange will allow consumers to enroll in coverage starting during open enrollment for 2021. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Wolf Administration Announces Appointees to the Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authoritycenter_img August 29, 2019last_img read more

Italy investigates explosive letter sent to European food safety agency

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The European Union has approved the planting of just one GM crop— a variety of corn known as MON 810. Each member state must also approve planting, however, and in 2013 Italy barred cultivation of MON 810, as well as barring field trials of experimental GM crops. Italian police are trying to figure out who sent a letter containing an explosive powder to Europe’s food safety agency. A bomb squad earlier this week blew up the letter, which was addressed to a scientist who works on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The incident comes amid an ongoing and acrimonious debate over European regulation of GM crops and foods.The suspicious letter arrived at the headquarters of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in Parma, Italy, on 7 June. It “did not seem to conform to the rest of the items that we usually receive,” an EFSA spokesperson told ScienceInsider. Police say an inspection revealed it contained enough gunpowder inside to injure the hands and face of someone who opened it. Officials declined to identify the addressee, except to say it is a scientist who serves as an external adviser to the agency. No person or group has claimed responsibility for the letter, and it is not clear where it originated. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe EFSA, created by the European Union in 2002, is charged with a wide range of tasks, including helping European governments assess the safety of GMOs. The agency has been a target of anti-GMO demonstrators, but “is neither in favor nor against GMOs. Every case is evaluated singularly,” the EFSA spokesperson says. And the agency is pleased that “all the security procedures worked extremely efficiently and promptly under the circumstances,” she says.last_img read more