ALLENTOWN, PA — Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today joined U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Pennsylvanians covered through Medicaid expansion and the individual market, and health care advocates to discuss information consumers need to know during open enrollment, the importance of promoting and protecting quality, affordable health care coverage, and federal threats to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“Open enrollment is a critical period for people who purchase coverage through the individual market, but it also helps connect people who qualify because of Medicaid expansion under the ACA,” said Secretary Miller. “The Wolf Administration stands with Sen. Casey to protect and preserve the ACA so people who need it today, or may need it in the future, can access vital, life-saving heath care.”
More than one million Pennsylvanians have health care coverage because of the ACA, including 400,000 people who purchase coverage through the exchange and nearly 700,000 people who are covered because of Medicaid expansion. Both Medicaid expansion and exchange plans provide comprehensive coverage for routine, preventive, and emergency health care so Pennsylvanians can get care they need without fear of financial ruin.
Since 2015, about 1.4 million people – or one in seven adults in Pennsylvania – have been covered at some point because of Governor Wolf’s decision to expand Medicaid. Because of the ACA, Pennsylvania has seen reduced hospitals’ uncompensated care costs across the commonwealth by almost $330 million and achieved its lowest uninsured rate on record.
Open enrollment for health insurance through the individual market runs through December 15. Consumers must be mindful when shopping for health insurance. Only plans sold on www.healthcare.gov meet the comprehensive coverage requirements of the ACA and qualify for subsidies to help pay for health care. Six companies sell comprehensive, ACA-compliant plans in Pennsylvania: Capital Blue Cross, Geisinger, Highmark, Independence Blue Cross, UPMC Health Plan, Oscar, and Centene.
Information on the various ACA-compliant plans available in Pennsylvania and where to seek enrollment assistance are available at www.insurance.pa.gov/4HealthIns. Consumers may also visit the helpful Consumers’ Checkbook at https://pa.checkbookhealth.org to view plan options, estimate monthly premiums and total annual out-of-pocket costs for each plan.
If consumers or their beneficiaries qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the marketplace application will automatically redirect them to DHS’ COMPASS website to complete their application.
Despite threats to the ACA in federal court, Sec. Miller urged all Pennsylvanians to shop for coverage for 2020.
“These resources have helped more than one million Pennsylvanians access and afford life-saving health coverage. The exchange and Medicaid expansion are lifelines for people who need it most, and we cannot reverse this progress,” said Secretary Miller. “No matter what happens on the federal level, all Pennsylvanians must use this period to make sure they are covered and prepared for 2020.”
For more information on Medicaid and other services administered through DHS, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.
Source: PA Department of Human Services
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