(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania said 110,000 new residents qualify for financial assistance when buying health insurance in the state-run marketplace thanks to an expansion of credits under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
The congressional aid package increases premium tax credits for all income levels in 2021 and 2022, the Department of Health said Tuesday, resulting in plan savings for 270,000 existing Pennie customers. Some lower income enrollees will see premiums shrink to zero.
“Overall, these savings provide a huge opportunity for many in Pennsylvania,” Pennie Executive Director Zach Sherman said. “If you ever thought that health insurance was out of your reach or something you could never afford, think again. Having health coverage has never been more affordable or more within your grasp.”
Under the new guidelines, an individual earning up around $51,000 and a family of four with an income of $104,800 now qualify for financial assistance.
“These savings will provide real relief to Pennie’s current customers and can be a game changer for thousands of Pennsylvanians who are uninsured,” Insurance Department Commissioner Jessica Altman said. “As we enter this new, groundbreaking stage of financial assistance eligibility, we hope that many uninsured Pennsylvanians will take advantage of this opportunity.”
About 6.6% of residents, or about 675,000 people, still lacked health care coverage in 2017, according to state data. Enrollment for Pennie opens May 1 and runs through Aug. 15.
“While stopping the spread of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and getting vaccinations are at the forefront of everyone’s minds, it is also important for all Pennsylvanians to remain consistent in receiving routine health care, including physical exams, wellness visits and vaccinations to stay in good health,” acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “Pennie’s goal is, and will always be, making sure Pennsylvanians have a reliable marketplace to purchase quality health and dental insurance; and access to the financial assistance to help pay for the cost of coverage and care.”