In this Update:
VCI Veteran Recognition Ceremony
Congratulations to all that were recognized by the Veteran Community Initiatives for all you have done and keep doing for our veteran community.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration with the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra
Cortney and I had the honor to attend the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration with the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra at Greater Johnstown School District Auditorium.
Property Tax Rent Rebate Program Applications Available
Applications are being accepted for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for seniors. The General Assembly expanded income eligibility. For more information visit here.
Denied a Health Care Claim? Request a Review
Because of legislation passed late in 2022, Pennsylvanians who believe their insurer has wrongly denied a health insurance claim can now request a review of the decision to be completed by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.
The denial can be for a service, treatment or item. An independent group of experienced doctors and health care professionals will review the case. If the review determines the request should have been covered, your health plan must do so. Independent review decisions are final and binding.
Act 46 of 2022 also streamlined the prior authorization – when physicians and other health care providers must obtain advance approval from a health plan before services and treatment are rendered – and step therapy processes for medical treatment.
2023 Accomplishments: Healthy and Safe Communities
Families, not government, are the heart of our commonwealth. To empower families, we must provide healthy and safe communities.
In 2023, Senate Republicans passed a key health care measure that eliminated out-of-pocket costs for genetic testing of hereditary cancer syndromes and supplemental screenings for women at high risk of developing breast cancer. We also addressed crucial public health needs for emergency medical services, hospitals and nursing homes and ensured Pennsylvanians continue to receive access to needed health care services.
Other new laws provide critical nourishment for medically fragile babies and increase access to licensed addiction treatment programs for people facing substance use disorder.
Fishing and Boating Grants Available Now
Organizations that provide hands-on education for the recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) of anglers and boaters in Pennsylvania have until March 1 to apply for grants.
Education programs play a role in R3 by providing experiences that increase fishing and boating knowledge and skills, facilitate social support, and provide information on fishing and boating opportunities close to home.
The funding must be used for eligible expenses for projects running approximately July 1 through June 30, 2025. Grants require at least a 25% match of total project costs.
January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month
The Senate Majority Policy Committee recently held a hearing to help raise awareness about the complexities of human trafficking crime and to discuss strategies for prevention, victim support and the prosecution of traffickers. Law enforcement, policymakers and people on the front lines of raising awareness about and helping victims of human trafficking joined the conversation.
By way of force, fraud and coercion, human traffickers push their victims into sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. In 2021, 315 victims were identified in Pennsylvania. If you suspect human trafficking, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or the ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.
The Senate also passed legislation to ensure sexually exploited children who are human trafficking victims have full access to appropriate services and support. Act 39 of 2023 would ensure that third-party control is never a consideration for access to services, and Senate Bill 45 would eliminate the third-party control requirement to access victim services under the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Notification Act.
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