State officials recently shared their intention to transition away from the federal insurance exchange.
State leaders recently announced that the Pennsylvania health care insurance exchange will be transitioning to a state-run marketplace.
Currently, Pennsylvanians use the federal exchange at healthcare.gov to purchase their health plans.
The new Pennsylvania health care changes are meant to help state residents to save more money while improving the affordability of individual and family plans. Until now, the healthcare.gov website has served state residents.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation earlier this week, laying the foundation for a state-based exchange. Residents will be able to use that marketplace to purchase individual health plans after comparing the different available coverage options.
According to officials, the state-based health insurance exchange and the new state reinsurance fund will help consumers to save up to 10 percent off their premiums. The goal is to have the marketplace up and ready for the open enrollment period for plans that will become effective in January 2021.
Next, Pennsylvania health care needs federal Department of Health and Human Services approval.
Pennsylvania, like most states, will continue to use healthcare.gov. That said, it will transition into its own state-based exchange and reinsurance program to improve affordability. A number of other states, including New Jersey, have announced their intentions to make similar moves toward their own marketplaces. They see their own state-run exchanges as the opportunity to decrease the strain the federal system is placing on them – and the families who live there.
“It’s my goal to have no Pennsylvanian worried about affording the care that they or their loved ones need, said Wolf. “This bill is a huge step forward for making health insurance affordable and effective for all Pennsylvanians.”
States are required to be served either by their own exchanges or by healthcare.gov due to the Affordable Care Act. These marketplaces are used by individuals and families who don’t receive their insurance through an employer but are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid. Those who shop through the exchanges are eligible for a subsidy based on income to help offset the premiums paid each month. In 2021, Pennsylvania health care will be self-run instead of leaning on the federal counterpart.