Patients Covered By State Health Insurance On The Rise

by Lesley Politi on April 1, 2009

Patients Covered By State Health Insurance On The Rise

Posted: 2:31 pm EDT March 11, 2009Updated: 2:56 pm EDT March 11, 2009

Six months after an urgent care center opened in Richland Township, officials there said they are treating a large number of patients who are covered by state health insurance.


Conemaugh Health System opened the Medwell Urgent Care Center in Richland Township in hopes of easing long emergency room waits.


Since then, they have helped more than 5,000 patients, but officials said that may be attributed to the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Adult Basic.


The walk-in clinic helps families with anything from the common cold to sprains and strains. The clinic is open seven days a week, and some patients got there because they can’t get an appointment at the doctor’s office.


But lately, workers said they’ve seen an increase in people who can’t afford insurance because they’re out of work , a trend throughout the Alleghenies.


Officials from the State Insurance Department said in just the last month, more children have enrolled in Bedford, Blair, Centre and Clearfield counties. While Cambria County has held steady, more than 2,500 children there are on CHIP. Statewide, enrollment is expected to reach an all-time high this year.


The number of adults who need health care has also increased exponentially. The statewide waiting list for Adult Basic is tipping 200,000. Further, more people have applied for the insurance in the past month from every single local county.
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