Thousands of parents to be shifted off RIte Care - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Thousands of parents to be shifted off RIte Care

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About 6,500 parents are being notified they will be shifted off RIte Care, the state-supported health insurance for low-income families.

Letters started to go out Friday to inform those Rhode Islanders that the new eligibility standards enacted by the General Assembly will mean they no longer qualify for the insurance.

However, the HealthSource RI insurance exchange will offer alternatives, and the state will assist parents pay the premiums.

"There is coverage that we believe is affordable and for those families that need assistance to pay for that coverage the state will provide that assistance," said Elena Nicolella of the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

Nicolella said the assistance is possible now because of HealthSource RI.

"Prior to the development of HealthSource RI it was really questionable whether these parents could access affordable health coverage. Now that we have it, we want as many people to take advantage of it as possible," she said.

Even with the state subsidy for insurance premiums, the shift will save taxpayers money.

Dropping adults from RIte Care saves an estimated $11 million, while the subsidies are expected to cost $1.4 million.

Nicolella emphasized that no children covered by RIte Care will be affected.

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