Pennsylvania: Wolf Admin/Pennie Visit YMCA Health Equity Tour to Provide Affordable Health Coverage Resources, Health Services & COVID-19 Vaccines

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Wolf Administration and Pennie Leadership Visit YMCA Health Equity Tour to Help Provide Affordable Health Coverage Resources, Health Services, and COVID-19 Vaccines to Pennsylvanians

York, PA – The Wolf Administration and Pennie leadership today provided information on health resources and affordable health coverage, as well as COVID-19 vaccinations to visitors during a YMCA Health Equity Tour at the York City Branch of the YMCA.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the health inequities across the commonwealth,” Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam said. “We are here at the York stop on the YMCA and Pennie Health Equity Tour to discuss a variety of educational health services and to encourage Pennsylvanians to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine today. We want to make sure all underserved communities are vaccinated and have an opportunity to enroll in affordable health coverage.”

Pennie, Pennsylvania’s health insurance marketplace, has partnered with the Harrisburg Area YMCA to host free, in-person events across all corners of the Keystone State, where local community members can come to learn about free health-related programs and services provided by the YMCA as well as how to enroll in affordable health coverage through Pennie.

“We are proud to hold these in-person events throughout all 67 counties in Pennsylvania. Our hope is that this tour will help us reduce health inequities by providing individual health education to combat risk behaviors, reduce barriers to health care and to enroll in coverage through Pennie,” said Amy Jacobs, Director of Community Integrated Health from the Harrisburg Area YMCA. “Most of these tour stops also offer the COVID-19 vaccine to those that pre-register.”

Pennie has delivered new financial savings to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians due to the implementation of the new American Rescue Plan (ARP) benefits. The American Rescue Plan allows for an increase in the amount of premium tax credits through Pennie for eligible Pennsylvanians at most income levels during the 2021 and 2022 plan years.

“On April 16, Pennie updated its shopping and plan comparison platform to allow those browsing their health coverage options to compare plans based on their eligibility with the new savings available. The average net premium customers are paying after financial assistance is almost half what it was prior to the American Rescue Plan, down to $85 a month from $168 a month,” noted Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman.

“We are pleased to be able to provide this never-before-seen level of financial assistance to our customers and to help those across the commonwealth access affordable coverage. Currently, 90 percent of Pennie customers are receiving financial assistance, and the amount of financial assistance available has increased by $49 million a month. The sooner the uninsured take advantage of this opportunity, the sooner they can start saving while protecting their health,” noted Pennie Executive Director Zachary W. Sherman.

As of June 21, approximately 15 percent of customers are receiving the Unemployment Insurance benefit, making them eligible to receive the maximum amount of financial assistance available through Pennie. On average, these customers are saving around $604 per month. Click here for more information on the impact of the American Rescue Plan.

To get covered, all one needs to do is apply for coverage and enroll in the current “COVID-19 Enrollment Period” that is open to all Pennsylvanians and runs until August 15. Pennie encourages anyone who is uninsured and is seeking coverage to visit pennie.com for more information.

Here's the stats from the ARP impact 1-sheet for Pennsylvania:

  • Around 90% of the 327,215 existing Pennie customers are receiving financial assistance, and the amount of financial assistance available has increased by $49 million/month.
  • Average net premium after financial assistance for all customers is almost half what it was, down to $85/month from $168/month.
  • Before the ARP, 10% of ACA exchange enrollees in PA were paying under $1/month in premiums; after the ARP 53% are doing so.
  • Before the ARP, 20% of ACA exchange enrollees in PA were paying under $50/month in premiums; after the ARP 71% are doing so.
  • Since the COVID-19 Enrollment Period opened on 2/15, Pennie has received over 41,000 new enrollments
  • ~15% of Pennie enrollees are now receiving the ARP's Unemployment Insurance benefit, meaning they're eligible for maximum financial assistance. This means they're saving $604/month on average.
  • This one is very interesting: "Through an interagency partnership, Pennie and the Department of Labor & Industry automatically connected eligible customers with this significant benefit."

If I'm reading that correctly, it means that current Pennie enrollees who are receiving unemployment benefits are automatically getting the ARP's UI benefit, which means they're eligible for $0 premium Silver 94 plans, which amount to PLATINUM plans in practice!