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Pennsylvania partners with GetInsured to build and operate state-based health insurance exchange

Chief among the partnership's goals is higher quality service and better affordability for people in the state purchasing insurance on the exchange.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

The Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority has announced a partnership with GetInsured, a health insurance marketplace platform provider, to power its technology and customer service for individuals and families purchasing health and dental insurance.

The partnership is a milestone in Pennsylvania's progress towards transitioning to a state-based exchange ahead of the 2021 open enrollment period. This does not impact the current open enrollment period for the 2020 plan year; Pennsylvanians should visit Healthcare.gov to sign up for coverage.

Chief among the partnership's goals is higher quality service and better affordability for people in the state purchasing health insurance on the exchange, particularly for middle-class families that lack employer-based coverage.

The Exchange Authority Board of Directors approved the seven-year contract with GetInsured, which was awarded through a competitive procurement process. The annual cost of the contract will be significantly less than what Pennsylvanians currently pay for Healthcare.Gov, allowing for most of the savings to be invested in a reinsurance program to reduce premiums in 2021. 

Through the partnership, the Exchange Authority said it will be better able to support insurance brokers and carriers, and also provide a more consumer-friendly shopping experience to help residents select the best health coverage available for their needs and budget.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT

In July 2019, Act 42 was signed into law, allowing for lower premiums and increased access to health insurance starting in 2021. The law created the Exchange Authority as well as a new reinsurance program, which allows the Insurance Department to apply for a federal waiver to secure funding and help reduce premiums in the individual market. The reinsurance program is estimated to save Pennsylvanian consumers 5 to 10% annually on their health insurance premiums starting next year.

GetInsured currently operates the technology for five state health exchanges, including Nevada, Idaho, Minnesota, California, and Washington.

THE LARGER TREND

For the full three weeks of open enrollment for 2020, 1,669,401 people have selected plans, with 431,574 being new consumers , and 1,237,827 individuals renewing their coverage.

In 2018, during the first three weeks of open enrollment for 2019, a total of 1,924,476 individuals signed up, with 456,907 being new consumers and 1,467,569 renewing coverage.

Both years are outdone by enrollment for 2018, when the total number of individuals signing up reached 2,277,079 by the end of week three on November 18, 2017.

ON THE RECORD

"We look forward to providing affordable health insurance in a way that is more accessible to residents of the Commonwealth," said Jessica Altman, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner and chair of the Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority Board of Directors. "Our partnership with GetInsured guarantees that the people of Pennsylvania can receive sufficient medical coverage, and that the process of obtaining health insurance is smooth, and a positive experience for all."

"Working with health exchanges across the country, including our most recent launches in Nevada and Minnesota, gives us relevant experience and insight to assist the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with their transition off the Federally Facilitated Marketplace," said Chini Krishnan, CEO and co-founder of GetInsured. "Moving forward, residents of the Commonwealth will benefit from a modernized eligibility and enrollment solution, and premier customer service."

Twitter: @JELagasse

Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com