In Pennsylvania health insurance news, a mini-COBRA extension bill introduced by Representative Josh Shapiro would amend the law to extend the mini-COBRA benefit to laid-off employees of companies with fewer than 20 workers from 9 to 15 months. The bill was amended at the behest of the National Federation of Independent Business and the Insurance Federation to limit the 15-month extension to the length of the federal subsidy. Also, regarding a high-risk pool under the federal plan, the Department of Insurance is scrambling to put together its high-risk pool letter of intent and its application by June 1. The latest estimates on the federal subsidy from HHS are that the state will get $160 million between July 1, 2010 and December 31, 2013, which seems minimal if the program is to cover a significant number of people. It is also unclear how the pool would be administered in a manner that would not result in it being underfunded.