Pennsylvania will reopen its health insurance marketplace, dubbed Pennie, for a special enrollment period Feb. 15 through May 15 to allow people affected by the coronavirus pandemic to select a new plan.
The move is in line with President Joe Biden’s decision to reopen the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov, as part of his COVID-19 relief efforts. New Jersey’s marketplace, Get Covered NJ, will also remain open through May 15.
Federal and state lawmakers sought to reopen the marketplaces to support people who have lost jobs — and their employer-sponsored health plans — during the pandemic. But the enrollment period is open to anyone who wants to sign up for coverage online at pennie.com.
“The economic and public health implications of the pandemic have been and continue to be destabilizing, impacting the lives of so many Pennsylvanians,” Zachary W. Sherman, Pennie’s executive director, said in a statement. “Anyone without health insurance will have more time to sign up through Pennie, giving those eligible access to financial assistance and comprehensive coverage, including for COVID-19 related treatment and services.”
Close to 338,000 Pennsylvania residents signed up for coverage during Pennie’s regular enrollment period. Of those, 75,000 were new customers — a 9.7% increase compared with last year.
“Becoming a state-based marketplace also allows us the flexibility to provide more time for individuals to receive coverage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope any Pennsylvanian without health insurance will seek coverage to protect themselves and their families from the cost of COVID-19,” said Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman in a statement.
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