Pennsylvania is no longer using HealthCare.gov and is moving to a new online marketplace, Pennie! The Pennsylvania Insurance Exchange (Pennie) is the state’s new website for Pennsylvanians to enroll in health insurance. It does the same thing as Healthcare.gov — so don’t worry. It’s just a different platform for you to enroll with. For the most part, the same plans that you chose from in previous years will still be offered. Still, things are a little different, so we’ve got you covered.
What is Pennie?
Pennie is a new website that will fill the same role as HealthCare.gov, but it’s just for Pennsylvanians. To receive financial assistance you must enroll through Pennie. This switch has given the state more flexibility in creating an easier enrollment experience. Pennsylvania also saves money by doing this and is reinvesting those savings in lowering premiums for people who do not currently receive financial assistance.
Who can Enroll in Pennie?
Anyone who needs health coverage may be eligible for a Pennie health plan, including if you’ve recently lost employment and/or health insurance due to COVID-19.
Those who have previously enrolled in Marketplace plans through Healthcare.gov will now do so through Pennie. This year, the Open Enrollment period will be from November 1st, 2020 to January 15th, 2021.
What if I had a Healthcare.gov plan?
If you were previously enrolled in a health insurance plan through Healthcare.gov, you should receive a PIN number in the mail that will give you access to your new Pennie account and all your information from prior years. Many of the plans that have been offered in previous years will be offered again this year, so you may not have to change doctors. If you want to keep your plan you should be able to do so. Also, financial assistance is still available, and 9 out of 10 Pennsylvanians will qualify.
What will be different?
Three main things will be different with Pennie:
- Premiums are expected to go down about 3% this year. Pennie has allowed us to create a new program that puts money back into the hands of enrollees, making the cost of premiums lower. You can read more about the lowering of health insurance rates here.
- There will be new plans to choose from. When choosing a plan, make sure you look at all of the costs included. If you need help choosing a plan that’s best for you, you can get free help at PHAN’s helpline at (877) 570-3642 or Pennie’s helpline at (844) 844-8040.
- The Open Enrollment period will be from November 1st, 2020 to January 15th, 2021, so you’ll have a little extra time to enroll. We still encourage you to enroll as early as possible. For your plan to go into effect on January 1st, you’ll need to enroll in the plan by December 15th.
- Open enrollment goes from November 1st to January 15th
- For coverage that starts January 1st you must enroll in a plan by December 15th
- If you enroll after December 15th you will still get coverage but it will not start until February
What about the lawsuit in the Supreme Court that could overturn the Affordable Care Act?
No matter what happens in the Supreme Court, you should still enroll in health insurance through Pennie for 2021. Any changes that happen to the Affordable Care Act won’t happen until the Spring of 2021, at the earliest.
If you need any help enrolling in Pennie, getting financial assistance, or choosing a plan, be sure to call our helpline at (877) 570-3642.