HARRISBURG – A bill which clarifies that private insurance instead of taxpayer-funded Medical Assistance must be used, if available, to cover a child’s health care needs has passed the PA House Health Committee. House Bill 398 amends the Human Services Code to require all applicants and recipients of state-funded health care assistance to cooperate with the Department of Human Services in securing medical support through private insurance from a non-custodial parent when available. Exceptions include protecting the health and safety of the custodial parent and child. For example, the measure would not apply if the custodial parent is a victim of domestic violence perpetrated by the non-custodial parent, or if the child’s continuity of medical care would be interrupted. The law would also not interfere with or delay providing Medical Assistance benefits to a child while the availability of private insurance is assessed by DHS. The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.