HAP Supports a State-based Health Insurance Exchange in Pennsylvania
March 29, 2019
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department is proposing to create a state-based health insurance exchange to better serve Pennsylvanians with a target implementation date of 2021.
After the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed during 2010, the Administration of then-Governor Tom Corbett began an analysis of the implications for Pennsylvania. By 2012, it determined that the federal exchange was the best option for the state at that time.
While HAP understood why Pennsylvania could not initially establish its own health insurance exchange, the association has consistently supported the concept. Consequently, HAP is very pleased that the Insurance Department now is pursuing this opportunity, and looks forward to the advantages that it will bring to Pennsylvania, some of which include:
- Greater control of all aspects of enrollment and reenrollment processes
- Increased flexibility to manage the operational aspects of the marketplace based on Pennsylvania consumer needs
- Increased access to data
- Greater visibility to do targeted outreach and education efforts
HAP has a long-standing history of helping as many people as possible secure and keep their health insurance coverage. Last fall, a new federal policy significantly extended the amount of time that individuals could remain enrolled in short-term health insurance plans from three months to up to three years. The stated policy intent was to expand access to less expensive alternative insurance options; however, those plans were not required to cover the full scope of patient protections and benefits assured under the ACA.
Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman urged Pennsylvanians to be careful where they shopped for health insurance. “Some companies and agents are offering plans they say are compliant with the ACA, but are not. The federal marketplace’s website ends in ‘.gov,’ so consumers not shopping on Healthcare.gov are not shopping on the federal marketplace,” Altman said. HAP and Pennsylvania hospitals partnered with state government, the insurance community, navigators and assisters, and health care organizations across the state to help educate Pennsylvanians about how to access or keep affordable, reliable health care coverage.
For questions or additional information, please contact Jolene Calla, HAP’s vice president, health care finance and insurance.