Enrollment Surge Shows Need for Affordable Health Coverage
318,077 Pennsylvanians Enrolled in Private Marketplace Plans During Health Law's First Enrollment Period
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today that more than 8 million Americans enrolled in private health insurance plans through federal and state-based marketplaces during the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act.
- 81% are saving money on premiums
- 30% are between the ages of 18-34
- 54% are women
Pennsylvania Health Access Network Director Antoinette Kraus released the following statement in response:
We are very excited to know that more than 318,000 Pennsylvanians have taken advantage of the opportunity to buy quality, comprehensive coverage through the Affordable Care Act. As a Certified Application Counselor site, we've seen firsthand the demand: since October 1st, PHAN as assisted over 2500 Pennsylvanians with health care questions, fielded over 1,200 calls to our toll-free helpline, responded to more than 660 online requests for help navigating the new Marketplace and enrolled 634 Pennsylvanians in coverage.
Today's enrollment numbers show how vital the Affordable Care Act is to the health and economic security of Pennsylvania families. Before the law too many folks were shut out, with no options, forced into bankruptcy over catastrophic medical bills or to delay needed care altogether. The new law has started to change that harsh reality, giving options and hope to millions of Americans who had none before.
Unfortunately, Pennsylvania's Governor, Tom Corbett, has taken that hope away from low-income Pennsylvanians by rejecting new funding in the health care law to expand coverage this year. The Governor's decision to turn down $43 billion in funding to expand Medicaid in 2014, as the Affordable Care Act intended and as all of our neighboring states have done, will cost Pennsylvania taxpayers $522 million in lost savings and revenue and turn Pennsylvania into an island of the uninsured.
As good as today's enrollment numbers are, we know they would be much higher if Pennsylvania had said yes to Medicaid Expansion. Governor Corbett is putting the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians on the line by continuing to delay an expansion of coverage.
The Pennsylvania Health Access Network will continue to staff a toll-free helpline (1.877.570.3642) for anyone needing assistance using their new coverage, applying for the first time through a Special Enrollment Period, or looking ahead to enroll in the fall. PHAN will also continue working with providers, workers, and advocates through the Cover the Commonwealth Coalition to push for an expansion of coverage to low-income Pennsylvanians.