Pennsylvania is following in the footsteps of Nevada and dumping HealthCare.gov.
The Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority plans to set up its own, state-run Affordable Care Act (ACA) public exchange plan program for the 2021 plan year, rather than continuing to rely on HealthCare.gov to sign people up for coverage and administer people’s public exchange program application files.
For 2019 coverage, about 370,000 Pennsylvania residents used HealthCare.gov to sign up for health coverage.
The ACA Exchange Program
The ACA created a system of government-run public exchange programs, or web-based supermarkets for health insurance, that came to life in October 2013, with the first coverage taking effect in January 2014.
The system helps people compare plans from private carriers and sign up for the plans. It also runs the ACA premium tax credit subsidy program, which helps people pay for exchange plan coverage.
States can choose whether to run their own state-based public exchange programs or to let the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services handle exchange services, through HealthCare.gov.
Pennsylvania has been using HealthCare.gov to provide exchange services for its residents since 2014, and it’s continuing to use HealthCare.gov this year.
The current open enrollment period for 2020 coverage started Nov. 1 and is set to run through Dec. 15 in the HealthCare.gov states.
Critics have argued that HealthCare.gov’s service fee is too high, and that the federal program is not spending enough of its revenue on marketing.
Pennsylvania has awarded GetInsured, an exchange program company based in Mountain View, California, a seven-year exchange setup and administration contract.
GetInsured has been helping Nevada shift to having a state-based exchange program, and away from using HealthCare.gov. GetInsured also supports the state-based exchange programs in Califoria, Idaho, Minnesota and Washington state.
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