Barrar’s Committee Passes Three Bills to Improve Lives of Two Important Communities
HARRISBURG – During a Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee meeting that Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) held this week, three bills benefiting both veterans and emergency responders were unanimously approved. The bills now await a vote by the full House.

“As majority chairman of the committee, I am pleased that the committee continues to be active and pass bills that will improve the lives of our veterans and emergency responders,” Barrar said. “These bills will have a real impact on these two very important communities that we serve, and I look forward to voting on them on the House floor.”

House Bill 784, sponsored by Rep. Bryan Barbin (D-Cambria), would provide a “Veterans First” $1,000 tax credit to small businesses with fewer than 100 employees who hire unemployed veterans. The credit is available for up to three years per veteran at each business for a maximum for $3,000. This program could create an estimated 12,500 jobs for Pennsylvania veterans who have been unemployed for more than six months. According to the 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 19,000 unemployed veterans in Pennsylvania.

House Bill 677, sponsored by Rep. Mike Hanna (D-Clinton/Centre), would protect both the public and our emergency responders by notifying the county 911 coordinator and county EMA director when hazardous materials are located within a facility. This would enable emergency responders to use all relevant information if they need to respond to an emergency.

Senate Bill 285, sponsored by Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20), would dedicate $15 from each application for an “Honor our Veterans” motorcycle license plate to the Pennsylvania Veterans Trust Fund.

This week, Barrar also saw advancement on one of his bills. The House Insurance Committee held an informational meeting on his legislation to limit retroactive denials of insurance reimbursements.

“Currently, no law prohibits insurers from retroactively denying paid claims as far in the past as they wish,” Barrar said. “Receiving a bill for service that the insurer paid years in the past could mean financial hardship or even devastation; it’s a ludicrous concept, and we all need a greater protection.”

House Bill 1178 would allow insurers one year to retroactively deny reimbursement to a health care provider. If a reimbursement is retroactively denied, the insurer must provide a written statement to the health care provider explaining why the claim was reviewed and subsequently denied.

If the reimbursement is retroactively denied because it is determined that another party is responsible for the payment, the health care provider will have six months from the date of the denial—unless an insurer permits a longer time period—to submit a claim for reimbursement to the insurer, the Medical Assistance program or the Medicare program responsible for the payment.

Representative Stephen E. Barrar
160th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
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