Pennie

A few weeks ago, Pennie (Pennsylvania's ACA exchange), like several other state-based exchanges, put out a simple statement celebrating the passage of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the dramatic improvement in ACA affordability that it brings for the next two years. Like most of the other exchanges, Pennie's initial press release was pretty bare-bones, as the bill had just been signed into law and there were a ton of logistical details to be worked out.

Today, at their monthly board meeting, Pennie provided some further info on how they plan to proceed:

Pennie’s American Rescue Plan Policy Goals

  • Implement ARP provisions as soon as possible, and as broadly as possible, to maximize savings for Pennie customers
  • Automate these provisions, to the extent possible, to ensure that the benefits under the new law reach Pennie customers without requiring customer action
  • Ensure that customers who need to take an action are given specific instructions on what they need to do to maximize their benefits
  • Use this unique opportunity to connect more Pennsylvanians to comprehensive coverage and reduce the number of uninsured throughout the Commonwealth

This is from a couple of weeks ago; I'm reposting it standalone for clarity. via Pennie: (via a text graphic for some reason):

Joint Statement from The Pennsylvania Insurance Dept. & Pennie regarding the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021:

"The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 will not only provide financial assistance through the forthcoming stimulus checks, but will also provide an estimated $270 million in additional subsidies to current Pennie customers in 2021 alone. Through this law, marketplace premiums will be capped at 8.5% of a household's income, meaning current Pennie customers will see lower monthly premiums and those without coverae or who were previously ineligible will now have access to financial help if they shop at Pennie.com.

In some cases, lower-income enrollees will have their monthly premiums eliminated entirely. Additionally, anyone who was eligible for unemployment income in 2021 will be eligible for coverage thorugh Pennie with a $0 premium for the remainder of the year.

I just received the following COVID Enrollment Period update from Pennie, Pennsylvania's new state-based ACA exchange. This appears to be part of an official report which they're still working on.

The "Existing" numbers refer to current Pennie enrollees who are taking advantage of the COVID SEP to switch to a different plan mid-year; this is something which usually isn't allowed, even during traditional Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs), but Pennie, along with HealthCare.Gov and many of the other state-based exchanges, are allowing them to do so during this period.

There's an obvious reason for this, too: The impending passage of the American Rescue Plan will mean dramatically improved/expanded subsidies for ACA enrollees, including many who haven't been eligible for them until now. This means millions of Americans who enrolled in Bronze plans because they weren't eligible for subsidies will be able to upgrade to Silver or Gold; it also means many people will become eligible for $0-premium plans who currently aren't, and so on.

As I did when Access Health CT released their 2021 OEP report, there's so much data here I'm not gonna bother doing any analysis in this entry; I'll just post the most relevant slides for now.

Note: Pennie refers to it as their 2020 annual report, but the enrollment data refers to the 2021 Open Enrollment Period.

via Pennie, Pennsylvania's new state-based ACA exchange:

Pennie Opens a COVID-19 Enrollment Period Which Will Run Until May 15

  • Uninsured Pennsylvanians or those affected by COVID-19 can visit pennie.comand enroll in a plan through May 15.  

 Harrisburg, PA – February 17, 2021 – Uninsured Pennsylvanians can act now and enroll in 2021 coverage during Pennie’s COVID-19 Enrollment Period. Pennie, Pennsylvania’s state-based health insurance marketplace, is proud to provide individuals across the Commonwealth additional time to enroll in health insurance to protect them and their families from the cost of the COVID-19 virus. This enrollment period is in-line with President Biden’s recent Executive Order and is open for all Pennsylvanians who have been impacted by COVID-19. Anyone otherwise eligible to enroll in coverage through Pennie™ can do so from now until May 15.

The new Pennsylvania ACA exchange, Pennie, just issued their final official 2021 Open Enrollment report and (as expected) is also joining most other states in re-opening for a COVID-19 Enrollment Period:

Press Release – Pennie Exceeds Expectations & Extends Enrollment for COVID-19

  • As a state-based marketplace, Pennie increases new enrollment by 9.7% and raises total enrollment to nearly 338,000. Now, Pennie is offering more time to enroll in plans for those affected by COVID-19.
  • Pennsylvanians who have recently lost health coverage or have been affected by COVID-19 can visit pennie.com and enroll in a plan from February 15 through May 15.

There's no formal press release, but Pennie, Pennsylvania's brand-new state-based ACA exchange just noted via their official Twitter account that they're extending the enrollment deadline for coverage starting January 1st by one week:

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! We have extended the deadline! You now have until Tuesday, December 22 to select health coverage that begins New Year’s Day.

— Pennie (@PennieOfficial) December 15, 2020

via Pennie, PA's new ACA exchange:

Governor Wolf Declares Dec. 10 Get Covered 2021 Pennsylvania Day in Support of the National Initiative, Get Covered 2021

  • Pennie stressed the December 15 plan selection deadline and the connection between health coverage and COVID-19 safety

Harrisburg, PA – December 10, 2020 – Today, Pennsylvania leadership announced a statewide partnership with Get Covered 2021 and re-emphasized the vital role that health coverage plays in the overall health and well-being of all Pennsylvanians. Improving access to affordable, quality health coverage is a priority for Pennie, Pennsylvania’s new state-based health insurance marketplace.

Get Covered 2021 is a national initiative promoting COVID-19 safety precautions and the importance of having health coverage. Pennie, in partnership with Pennsylvania leadership, along with 15 other states and Washington D.C., hundreds of health associations, sports figures, and celebrities have joined together to help spread the word to “mask up and get covered.”

via Pennie, PA's new ACA exchange:

December 15 is the Deadline for Individuals to Enroll in Health Insurance Coverage for January 

  • Pennie urges all Pennsylvanians seeking 2021 coverage to enroll this Open Enrollment 

Harrisburg, PA – December 7, 2020 –  Pennie, the state’s new health insurance marketplace is approaching its first enrollment deadline. December 15th is the last day for individuals and families to purchase health coverage starting January 2021. Current and potential customers are encouraged to select a plan by December 15 to ensure continuous coverage.

Pennie allows customers to compare and shop for medical and dental insurance from participating insurers, who are required to offer qualified, comprehensive plans. Pennie is also the only source for financial assistance to help lower the cost of coverage and care and nearly 9 out of 10 of customers qualify for financial assistance

As I've noted several times before, two more states have split off from the federal ACA health insurance exchange (HealthCare.Gov) this year. New Jersey and Pennsylvania have joined twelve other states (and DC) in operating their own full ACA enrollment platform.

In the case of Pennsylvania, they decided to call theirs "Pennie" (Pennsylvania Insurance Exchange), and judging by their first enrollment report, it looks like it's off to a great start:

Open Enrollment Early Highlights

Pennsylvania launches new state-based health insurance marketplace, Pennie

  • Pennie replaces Healthcare.Gov and will improve access to coverage and increase affordability

Harrisburg, PA – September 22, 2020 – Today, Pennsylvania announced, Pennie, the new state-based health insurance marketplace for 2021 coverage. Pennie is available to all Pennsylvanians and aims to improve the accessibility and affordability of individual market health coverage. It is also the only place that connects Pennsylvanians to financial assistance to reduce the cost of coverage and care.

Pennie was created by Act 42 of 2019, passed unanimously by both chambers of the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on July 2, 2019.