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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 26, 2020 04:55 PM
From: Representative Michael H. Schlossberg
To: All House members
Subject: Urging Governor Wolf to Waive Mental Health Costs for Frontline Essential Workers
While the COVID-19 pandemic has had an immeasurable impact on all Pennsylvanians, the impact on essential workers has been especially difficult. From supermarket staff to logistics employees to healthcare workers, the pandemic has added stressors to the individuals serving in these too-often undervalued roles including the increased risk of infection, lack of protective equipment, and isolation from family and social support networks. As we recognize the critical work essential employees continue to provide, we must remember the immense pressures that they faced as this global crisis unfolded.

The impact of this pandemic is not expected to vanish with a decline of COVID-19 cases, especially with respect to mental health. As such, I intend to introduce a resolution urging the Governor to issue an Executive Order requiring Pennsylvania-regulated health insurers to waive cost-sharing – including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance – for in-network mental health services for Pennsylvania's frontline essential workers during COVID-19.

These frontline essential workers may be struggling in many ways due to increased burdens at work, which may have had an adverse impact on their personal life or caused financial hardship – especially for those working in a low-wage occupation that is nonetheless essential. Having carried the weight of supporting our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, these individuals should not face a financial barrier when seeking access to mental health services.

Introduced as HR975