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Insurance Department Warns Consumers About “Off-Marketplace” Insurance Plans

November 09, 2017

Pennsylvania’s Acting Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman yesterday released an alert asking Pennsylvanians to be cautious about 2018 health insurance plans available for sale outside of the federal Healthcare.gov marketplace. Health plans that are not compliant with Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements could result in a tax penalty and ineligibility for federal tax credits.

Open enrollment for health insurance coverage for 2018 began November 1 and continues through December 15. During the first week of open enrollment, Healthcare.gov estimates that 601,462 people selected plans using the federal platform; 137,322 were new consumers, and 464,140 consumers renewed coverage.

Five insurers offer individual plans for 2018 for Pennsylvania residents:

  • Capital Blue Cross
  • Geisinger
  • Highmark
  • Independence BlueCross
  • UPMC Health Plan

Pennsylvanians are strongly encouraged to shop around to obtain the best deal, but should call the insurance company directly to verify ACA-compliance, including pre-existing condition and minimum essential benefit coverage.

Earlier this week, Governor Wolf encouraged Pennsylvania residents to sign up before the December 15 deadline and reminded Pennsylvanians about the state resources that are available:

HAP’s Chief Strategy Officer Paula Bussard recently published a helpful article entitled “The five most important things to know about Obamacare now” in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

HAP also has updated its Selecting Health Coverage information, including an updated resource listing. Pennsylvanians also are encouraged to check with their local hospital or health system about online or in-person assistance that may be available.

Questions about the Pennsylvania’s open enrollment period or ACA compliance should be directed to Paula Bussard.

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