Governor Wolf Signs State-Based Health Insurance Exchange Legislation
July 02, 2019
Gathered in the Pennsylvania Capitol rotunda, Governor Tom Wolf was joined by HAP’s President and CEO Andy Carter, insurers, the medical community, and other stakeholders to officially sign into law House Bill 3. House Bill 3 creates the Health Insurance Exchange Authority to operate a state-based health insurance exchange for individual market plans and authorizes the Pennsylvania Insurance Department (PID) to establish a reinsurance program for which PID must obtain a federal waiver. The bill was sponsored by Representative Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) and Representative Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny).
“HAP has a long-standing history of helping as many people as possible secure and keep their health insurance coverage,” said Carter. “During the early stages of discussion about a state-based exchange, HAP indicated its support for a state-run exchange to Commissioner Altman, and we are pleased that the Insurance Department now has the flexibility to accomplish our shared goal of continuing to promote access to affordable comprehensive coverage.”
During May, HAP and PID Commissioner, Jessica Altman testified in support of the concept of a state-based exchange. Highlights of the benefits of moving to a state-based exchange include:
- Cost savings to the commonwealth
- Decrease in premiums for consumers
- Creating a reinsurance program utilizing cost savings
- Direct handling of consumer complaints and issues
- Increased access to data
- Tailored consumer assistance, marketing, and advertising strategies for direct outreach to patients
- Ability to define enrollment periods
PID estimates that a 3 percent user fee on premiums will generate $88 million per year. About $35 million would be needed to operate the exchange, and $53 million would go to the reinsurance program in addition to the approximately $145 million to $190 million in federal subsidy savings.
For more information, please contact Jolene Calla, HAP’s vice president, health care finance and insurance, or Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy.