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Marketplace Open Enrollment in Pennsylvania: Signups Down from Last Year

November 29, 2018

Newly released Open Enrollment numbers from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for health insurance signups via HealthCare.gov show that enrollment for 2019 coverage is down compared to last year. Pennsylvania is among the states with the largest enrollment decrease; Pennsylvania hospitals are encouraged to continue their enrollment and outreach efforts.

According to Week 4’s Enrollment Snapshot (the period ending November 24):

  • A total of 2,424,913 individuals selected health insurance coverage through HealthCare.gov since November 1, the first day of Open Enrollment. Enrollment last year at the end of Week 4 for 2018 coverage totaled 2,781,260 individuals.
  • Current enrollments by Pennsylvanians total 92,775. At the end of Week 4 last year, 124,081 plan selections been made by Pennsylvania residents
  • New consumers, or those who did not have insurance through HealthCare.gov last year, currently total 588,131. Last year’s total as of November 25 was 718,285.
  • Consumers renewing coverage through HealthCare.gov total 1,836,782; last year’s total was 2,062,975

The Weekly Snapshot numbers refer to individuals in the 39 states that use the HealthCare.gov platform for purchasing health insurance.

This is the first year that federal changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) removing penalties for not having health insurance go into effect. In addition, federal funding for Open Enrollment assistance further decreased, hindering navigator and other programs that encourage and assist consumers in health insurance policy selections.

The benefits of having health care insurance are many. Having health insurance:

  • Improves access to care
  • Supports positive health outcomes
  • Incentivizes appropriate use of health care resources
  • Reduces financial strain on individuals and families

The American Hospital Association (AHA) recently released an AHA issue brief that outlines the importance of health care coverage in more detail.

This year’s Open Enrollment period will end December 15. Continued outreach for signups via the health insurance marketplace during the remainder of the Open Enrollment period is crucial to achieving the goal of health insurance coverage for all Pennsylvanians.

Navigating the marketplace

Key resources for Pennsylvanians selecting health coverage for 2019 include:

  • At HealthCare.gov, consumers can use local help lookup to find nearby organizations that can assist with enrollment. In addition, consumer help from experienced individuals staffing the Call Center is available.

Other resources include your local hospital or health system or neighborhood health clinic.

For more information about HAP’s Open Enrollment advocacy, please contact Jolene Calla, HAP’s vice president, health care finance and insurance.

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