As Pennsylvania continues its slow and steady march toward building a health insurance exchange, residents of the state are coming to the Department of Insurance with questions about how the exchange will affect them. The state’s Department of Insurance has been awarded a $1 million grant from the federal government to help keep consumers informed over the matter. With the money, the department has hired additional staff, whose purpose it is to answer the questions consumers have about the exchange and the Affordable Care Act.
Pennsylvania has stood in opposition to the Affordable Care Act since it was passed in 2010. Governor Tom Corbett claims that the federal law is unconstitutional, but that matter remains to be resolved by the Supreme Court. Until that time, the Governor understands the need to make progress on building an exchange run by the state. As such, the Department of Insurance has been tasked with making sure that consumers know what the exchange will be and how they will be able to use it to find affordable health insurance coverage.
The main theme in regards to consumer concerns is how the exchange will affect the policies they hold from private insurance companies. The state’s exchange is to be built in such a way that encourages competition amongst insurers, thus driving down premiums. Consumers are wondering whether this will change the premiums of their current policies or if they will even be allowed to purchase policies from the marketplace without backlash from their current insurance provider.