HARRISBURG, PA — Governor Tom Wolf recently held a virtual press conference to highlight the work of the team behind Pennsylvania’s new state-based health insurance marketplace, known as Pennie, and to encourage Pennsylvanians to visit pennie.com for affordable coverage options. He was joined by Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman, Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller and Pennie Executive Director Zachary Sherman.
“I believe that all Pennsylvanians have the right to accessible, affordable, quality health care,” Gov. Wolf said. “Improving access to health care has been a priority for my administration from day one. With Pennie, Pennsylvania’s own health insurance marketplace, Pennsylvanians now have a one-stop-shop for their health care coverage needs.”
The Wolf Administration has made access to health care a priority from day one:
- Expanded access to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, opening up health coverage for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians.
- Signed legislation in July 2019 creating the state-based marketplace, now Pennie.
- Advocated against any rollback of the ACA, which provides health coverage for more than 1 million Pennsylvanians.
- Implemented collaborative and innovative programs to improve health care outcomes for Pennsylvanians, including a health care reform plan for Pennsylvania that will lower costs, and focus on improving accessibility, equity, and value of health care for all.
- Participated in Get Covered Day on December 10 by issuing a proclamation and raising awareness to encourage Pennsylvanians who don’t have health coverage to go to pennie.com to explore their health care options.
Pennie.com replaces healthcare.gov as the marketplace for individual health and dental coverage. Pennie also includes a reinsurance program that, over time, will lower premiums for individuals and families that buy comprehensive coverage. A reinsurance program helps to make health insurance affordable for more Pennsylvanians.
“Pennie strives to support all Pennsylvanians and understands many who lost employer-sponsored coverage as a result of COVID-19 may be new to the individual market and unaware of the benefits of the marketplace,” Commissioner Altman said. “All commercial, comprehensive health insurance available in the commonwealth, including plans purchased through Pennie, fully cover: the COVID-19 test if patients are experiencing symptoms or have an indication of exposure; treatment for the symptoms that develop due to COVID-19; and, the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine once available.”
“Pennie makes the health care shopping process easy for Pennsylvanians and helps connect those who could qualify to other health care programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program,” said Secretary Miller. “Access to health care is among our most essential needs – a necessity amplified by our current crisis. If you need health care coverage, please take time to explore your options and be prepared as we head into 2021.”
“Pennie recognizes that purchasing health insurance can be intimidating, especially for those new to the individual market. Pennie stands at the ready to help Pennsylvanians navigate the process so they can enter 2021 with the peace of mind that comes with having health coverage. To expand access for those who need it, we have extended our call center hours until 10 pm on our December 15 deadline. Open Enrollment is the one time of year to shop for health coverage. We urge anyone who does not already have coverage to connect with Pennie and explore the many, low-cost options available across the commonwealth.”
Pennie is Pennsylvania’s official destination for shopping for quality health insurance plans and the only source for financial assistance to help with the cost of coverage and care.
Open enrollment runs from November 1, 2020, to January 15, 2021, but for coverage to begin January 1, Pennsylvanians must enroll by Dec. 15. During this time period, anyone living legally in Pennsylvania can apply for health insurance through Pennie. Individuals with qualifying life events can enroll at any time of the year.
Customers will find self-service resources at pennie.com, and Pennie’s customers service center at 1-844-844-8040 is ready to help at any point and can connect customers to other unbiased in-person or virtual assistance.
“Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, it is more important than ever that we help Pennsylvanians get access to health care coverage,” Gov. Wolf said. “With Pennie, more Pennsylvanians will be able to get affordable health insurance, more Pennsylvanians will be able to see a primary care doctor for peventive care, more Pennsylvanians will be able to manage chronic conditions, and crucially, more Pennsylvanians will live healthier, longer lives.”
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