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Pennsylvanians Encouraged to Continue Enrolling in Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Plans

November 29, 2016

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller reminds residents that Open Enrollment for 2017 health insurance coverage available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is underway and encouraged Pennsylvanians to explore options for health insurance coverage through the online federal marketplace.

“While newly elected officials in Washington have stated they may repeal the Affordable Care Act in the future, there is currently no plan in place to alter our existing health care system,” said Commissioner Miller. “Though potential changes may be coming, enrolling now will help ensure the health of you and your family is protected in the short and long term.”

Pennsylvania’s hospital community supports efforts to expand insurance coverage and reduce the number of uninsured. In addition, The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) opposes a complete repeal of the ACA and has expressed several concerns about changes that are done too quickly or are incomplete. To protect the health and economic stability of Pennsylvania, HAP says any ACA adjustments or replacements must:

  • Safeguard coverage gains
  • Promote the financial stability of hospitals
  • Continue the transformation of health care

Health insurance plans can be purchased through the federal marketplace at the Healthcare.gov website. These plans meet the coverage standards and consumer protections mandated by the ACA, which include coverage for pre-existing conditions, free preventive care, and coverage for other essential health benefits.

Consumers purchasing from the federal marketplace may be eligible for financial assistance to pay premiums and, in some cases, other out-of-pocket costs like co-pays and deductibles. For 2016, 78 percent of Pennsylvanians who purchased insurance through the federal marketplace received subsidies to lower monthly premium costs.

Coverage purchased on or before December 15 will take effect January 1; however, consumers whose 2016 plans will be discontinued in 2017 have until December 31 to select a plan other than the new option they were assigned to for coverage to still begin January 1.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is emphasizing the need for younger adults to consider health insurance options.

HAP will continue to advocate for federal policy coverage provisions that:

  • Reduce the number of uninsured
  • Ensure continuity of coverage through access to a robust, competitive delivery system
  • Protect coverage for pre-existing conditions, the option for minors to remain on their parents’ plan, and access to preventive services

HAP will work with members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation and other stakeholders to help them understand the impact of any proposed policy changes on Pennsylvania patients and communities.

For more information on plans available in Pennsylvania, visit the Healthcare.gov website. For questions regarding HAP’s federal advocacy initiatives, please contact Laura Stevens Kent, HAP’s vice president, federal advocacy. For more information on insurance enrollment, please contact Paula Bussard, HAP's chief strategy officer.

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