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Open Enrollment Starts Today; HAP, PA Hospitals Encourage Pennsylvanians to Get Covered, Stay Covered

November 01, 2017

Today, HAP president and CEO Andy Carter joined Philadelphia Mayor Kenney and Health Commissioner Dr. Farley at a press conference promoting the start of open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance marketplace. Carter underscored the importance of securing health insurance coverage as well as how Pennsylvania hospitals are helping consumers find the right plan for them.

”Consumers need to shop, shop, shop during this open enrollment period,” said Carter. “If you’re currently enrolled, make sure your plan is the best choice for the coming year.”

This year’s open enrollment period is six weeks shorter than previous years (running from November 1, 2017, through December 15, 2017); the Trump Administration has drastically cut funding for federal public awareness activities; and Healthcare.gov enrollment website will be unavailable for a large portion of each Sunday.

In response, Pennsylvania hospitals have joined with state and federal efforts to encourage individuals to get covered and stay covered by:

  • Hosting open enrollment fairs
  • Collaborating with local navigators and assisters. Some hospitals have certified application counselors in-house
  • Using traditional outreach and social media channels to clear up confusion about this year’s open enrollment and provide information about local resources
  • Encouraging physicians to talk to their patients about open enrollment and help them get connected to an application counselor or navigator

Since the passage of the ACA in 2010, Pennsylvania’s uninsured rate has declined from 10.2 percent in 2010, to 5.6 percent in 2016—a 45 percent decrease in the state’s uninsured population. More than 1.1 million Pennsylvanian’s have gained access to high quality health care services through health insurance coverage, including:

  • 400,000 individuals through the Pennsylvania health insurance market
  • More than 700,000 through Medicaid Expansion
  • Nearly 90,000 young adults

“We know that when Pennsylvanians get and stay healthy, they are better employees, students, and community members; and they don’t need to rely on hospitals and emergency departments, which reduces the cost of care for everyone,” said Carter.

HAP is proud to collaborate with state government, the insurance community, navigators and assisters, and health care organizations across the state to help Pennsylvanians continue to access affordable, reliable health care coverage. In addition, HAP is providing information to consumers via traditional and social media, including a Philly.com blog authored by Paula Bussard, the consumer area of HAP’s website, and HAP’s Healthy Me PA digital community platforms.

Last week, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department launched a media campaign to encourage residents to purchase or renew insurance plans purchased on the ACA insurance marketplace. The effort includes a fact sheet, thirty- and fifteen-second commercials, how-to videos in English and Spanish, and updates to its Consumer’s Checkbook plan comparison tool that helps individuals and families compare the offerings and prices of plans sold on the exchange and off the exchange.

In addition, in Pennsylvania, the following navigators can help consumers learn about their options and make enrollment decisions:

The American Hospital Association (AHA) also has information on its website to help individuals shop for coverage, including a video in English and Spanish highlighting the importance of health insurance for young people, and a “Get Covered Connector” tool to help find local help completing an insurance application.

For more information about HAP’s open enrollment advocacy, contact Paula Bussard, chief strategy officer. 

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