Goodbye, Healthcare.Gov. Hello, Pennie.
Sunday rings in the month of November. As some of us look forward to a unique holiday season, others are anxious to turn the page on 2020. November 1st is also the first day of Open Enrollment for 2021 Health Insurance Coverage.
In September, Pennsylvania debuted its state-based insurance marketplace called Pennie.com. With Pennie’s launch, Pennsylvania joins 14 other states that run their own health insurance marketplaces rather than rely on the federal healthcare.gov marketplace. Now, any Pennsylvanian who tries to enroll through healthcare.gov will be redirected to Pennie.com. Pennsylvanians who created user accounts on healthcare.gov during previous enrollment periods will see those accounts transferred to Pennie.com.
By establishing its own insurance marketplace, Pennsylvania will be able to increase the number of support staff available to help people enroll in coverage from 80 to 100 across the state. More importantly, it established a reinsurance fund that will help control rising premium rates by covering costs for the most expensive patients.
For people who have used healthcare.gov in the past, the online shopping experience should be similar: Pennie.com will allow people to compare plans, evaluate out-of-pocket costs, and determine whether they are eligible for a tax credit. Tax credits are available to offset the cost of insurance premiums based on income and family size. An individual earning less than $50,000 a year or a family of four earning less than $105,000 a year, for instance, will likely qualify. Users whose income qualifies them for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will be redirected from Pennie to the Department of Human Services for enrollment.
If you are looking for quick answers past what I’ve written about here, check the “Frequently Asked Questions” section of the site, which can be accessed here.