By Jerry Geisel, Crain News Service
WASHINGTON (June 9, 2015) — The Pennsylvania Department of Insurance has formally filed an application with federal officials to set up a state health insurance exchange if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down IRS rules that authorize federal premium subsidies to lower-income uninsured individuals obtaining coverage in the federal exchange.
“I am continuing to take steps, as part of my contingency plan, in order to protect 382,000 Pennsylvanians from potentially losing subsidies that help them afford health care coverage,” Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said in a statement.
Pennsylvania's formal notification to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services does not require the state to set up an exchange, but gives it the option to do so in the event the high court overturns the IRS rules. A Supreme Court decision is expected by the end of this month.
“This is simply another step in an effort to leave the door open so the state has the option in the event of an adverse Supreme Court ruling,” according to a statement issued June 2 by the office of Gov. Wolf.