How It Works is a recurring feature from the Erie Times-News that explains how government, organizations, processes, ordinances and more work. Email your questions to email@example.com.
Uninsured Northwest Pennsylvanians who do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid now have the option, for the 10th consecutive year, to purchase health insurance through the federal government’s Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare’s name.
Erie County residents can choose from 96 different insurance plans for coverage in 2023, while Crawford County residents can choose from 51 plans. They are offered by Highmark, UPMC and United Healthcare.
The plans are not free, but nine out of 10 people receive subsidies which have been extended until 2025 by the government’s Inflation Reduction Act. These subsidies reduce the monthly cost of plans to less than $75 for 40% of Pennsylvania subscribers.
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Am I eligible for an ACA plan?
You are eligible for health insurance through the ACA if you are a US citizen, not incarcerated, and not eligible for Medicare.
Individuals or families eligible for health insurance through an employer can still purchase an ACA plan, but are not eligible for any subsidy if coverage is considered affordable – less than 9.2% of income Household.
During the enrollment process, if you are found eligible for Medicaid, you will be asked to enroll in this government program instead of an ACA plan.
How do I enroll in an ACA plan?
In Pennsylvania, people can enroll in an ACA plan by visiting pennie.com. This is a website that the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance created in 2020 to enroll residents in ACA plans.
People can also call 844-844-8040 to speak with one of Pennie’s customer service representatives.
Before you start your application, you will need the following:
- ID photo
- social security card number
- Four weeks of payslips
- Most recent tax return
- Immigration documents, if applicable
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Which health plan should I choose?
The health plan you choose depends on several factors, including monthly premium cost, out-of-pocket costs, and the doctors, hospitals, and prescription drugs that are included.
ACA plans are grouped into four basic categories:
- Platinum (highest premiums, lowest deductibles)
- Gold (higher premiums, lower deductibles)
- Money (lower premiums, higher deductibles)
- Bronze (lowest premiums, highest deductibles)
You can compare plans without submitting your personal information, but you will need to submit it to select a plan. You should have a list of your prescription medications and doctors when comparing plans.
The site will give you a spending estimate of the amount you could expect to pay for the year if you select that particular plan.
“We encourage consumers to research and compare plans to find the coverage that best suits their needs and provides strong benefits for themselves and their families,” Pennsylvania Acting Insurance Commissioner Michael Humphreys said. , in a press release.
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What is the deadline for choosing a plan?
The deadline to select an ACA plan for 2023 is January 15, but if you want coverage from January 1, you must choose a plan by December 15.
People who experience a “life qualifying event” may choose a plan at other times of the year. These events include the loss of your existing health coverage, a divorce, a move, or a change in income that affects the coverage you qualify for.
Contact David Bruce at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ETNBruce.
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