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Pennsylvania Insurance Department Will Answer Health Insurance Questions

Funded by a $1 million grant from the federal government, the state insurance department has hired more people to answer consumers' questions about health insurance. The move comes as more provisions of the Affordable Care Act are implemented.

When he was Attorney General, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett joined the multi-state lawsuit contending that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has not yet ruled, and Republican presidential candidates promise repeal, but Melissa Fox, Insurance Department Deputy Press Secretary, said Corbett understands the department must move forward in protecting regulation of the insurance market.

Some provisions of the Affordable Care Act have already taken effect, including provisions allowing children to remain on their parents' policies until they're 26 and allowing people with pre-existing conditions to get coverage, among others.

Of special concern to residents of the Pittsburgh region is the Highmark/UPMC dispute. Fox referred consumers to the companies themselves. She said the state's consumer unit will take questions as well, but they are hopeful the issues will be resolved by the June, 2013 deadline.