Home Heartland Square Pennsylvania Quick hits: Pennsylvania news in brief for Wednesday, Nov. 6

Quick hits: Pennsylvania news in brief for Wednesday, Nov. 6


PA Insurance Department fines UnitedHealthcare

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has fined UnitedHealthcare $1 million for failing to handle claims for mental health, substance abuse and autism properly, according to a news release from the department. The company is also accused of failing to respond to consumer complaints in a timely manner.

UnitedHealthcare will spend about $800,000 on a campaign explaining consumers mental health and substance abuse benefits.

The Affordable Care Act requires companies to cover mental health.

“The violations within this area were very disappointing as they negatively affected some of our most vulnerable populations,” Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said.

Hold your fire! Sunday hunting not legal yet, game commission says

The House of Representatives has passed a bill approving Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania, but the Senate is not expected to consider the legislation until it returns at the end of this month.

That means Sunday hunting will not go into effect until 2020 at the earliest, according to information from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

The bill would allow Sunday hunting once during archery deer season, once during firearms deer season and once on a Sunday chosen by the Game Commission.

“There’s every reason, however, to believe Senate Bill 147 soon will become law,” said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. “And the Game Commission will be doing its part to implement additional Sunday hunting opportunities as soon as it can.”

Checklist will aid new Pennsylvania businesses, Wolf says

A new checklist will help new businesses register in Pennsylvania, according to Gov. Tom Wolf.

The “PA Business One-Stop Shop Registration Checklist” will guide businesses and entrepreneurs to the right agencies and forms they need to do business in the state.

The PA Business One-Stop Shop was launched last year after House Bill 1284, which was part of an initiative proposed by Wolf during his 2017-18 budget address, passed the General Assembly.

Senate to consider bill to provide mental health program for first responders

A bill that creates a mental wellness and stress management program for emergency responders passed the House and is now in the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

House Bill 1459 was co-authored by Rep. Frank Farry, R-Bucks, in response to several suicides in his jurisdiction.

“While dedicating their lives to protecting others, our heroes have witnessed some of the most horrifying scenes that are engraved in their memories forever,” Farry said. “These memories often become a heavy weight on their shoulders, and it is our duty as legislators to return the favor of protecting those who keep us safe.”