– There is a concern that insurance costs will put children and youth services providers out of business and children will no longer be able to access services they need according to state Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland), who chaired a hearing today of the House Children and Youth Committee.
To combat this insurance crisis, state Rep. Kate Klunk (R-Hanover) authored House Bill 2213
and House Bill 2214
, which would introduce damages caps in actions against certain nonprofit social service provider organizations and void certain indemnification clauses in children and youth services contracts.
“Service providers in Pennsylvania have faced sharply increased insurance premiums and reductions in coverage, or in some cases withdrawal of coverage altogether. As a result, some providers have ceased offering certain services, such as foster care, and many more are having to make the same decision,” said Delozier. “Today’s testifiers represented a variety of perspectives and raised important policy questions, and the committee will use their information in the future. We all have the common goal of the safety of children in Pennsylvania.”
In testimony, Terry Clark, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth & Family Services, spoke in support of the legislation and noticed the increased costs of insurance first-hand.
“In the past two years, at least four provider agencies have closed their children and family services programs and many more have significantly scaled back on programming or opted not to expand their operations as a result of insurance affordability issues,” said Clark. “The pieces of legislation would not alleviate all affordability challenges, but it will ultimately help more insurance carriers stay in this market.”
In addition, David Fair, chief deputy executive office of Turning Points for Children, gave testimony on the organization’s own insurance premiums concerning House Bill 2213.
“Turning Points’ own insurance premiums increased by 98%,” said Fair. “The bills would restore the support for children and families referred to care, stabilize the marketplace and encourage insurance companies to return to the child welfare market.”
To view the hearing, visit repdelozier.com