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Feb. 8, 2019 Outreach and Enrollment News

Author: Amanda Tekely/Friday, February 08, 2019/Categories: Outreach News

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SHOP Marketplace Changes and Closures

There are some important Marketplace changes happening that enrollment assisters should be aware of:

  • Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 is the last date employers can contact the SHOP call center representative with questions. On Friday, March 1, 2019, the SHOP call center will be changed to an automated system to provide information and important updates with minimal or no assistance from actual representatives
  • For Plan Year 2018 coverage and beyond, employers must contact the insurer directly for plan assistance, payment inquiries, and enrollment updates
  • At the end of the day, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, the online SHOP Enrollment and Payment services portal will close
  • For plan year 2017 coverage that ended on or before Nov. 30, 2018, employers need to report and finalize any qualifying life status changes (like marriage, birth or loss of other coverage) by Tuesday Jan. 29, 2019

Important: Prior to the portal closing, employers should download and save any information from their account that they want to retain for their records.    


Consumers Need Help with Medicare? APPRISE Can Help

APPRISE is a free health insurance counseling program designed to help older Pennsylvanians with Medicare. Counselors are specially trained staff and volunteers who can answer questions about Medicare and provide objective, easy-to-understand information about Medicare, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Medicaid, and long-term care insurance. The toll-free APPRISE Helpline is 1-(800) 783-7067; all services are free and confidential. Click here for a location near you.


Employer-Based Coverage Up Recently but Declined Over the Long Term

Trends are showing an increase in the share of Americans with job-based health insurance in recent years, but the long-term trend remains a downward one. Growth in the economy and the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate may be behind the trend. A National Health Interview Survey showed the share of non-elderly population covered by workplace plans rose from 56.3 percent in 2013 to 58.4 percent in 2017. That was still nearly nine percentage points lower than the 67.3 percent covered by employer-sponsored plans in 1999. The share has declined markedly over the last two decades, with the greatest percentage reductions among people with incomes under 400 percent of poverty ($85,320 for a family of three in 2019). For more, see this Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.


Need A Refresher on COMPASS?

COMPASS is the PA Department of Human Services web portal single point of entry for consumers to enroll in Medical Assistance, CHIP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), cash assistance, long term services, low-income home energy assistance programs, free or reduced-price school meals or Child Care Works. COMPASS has a web-based tutorial available for viewing to walk consumers through applying for benefits. For more information on each program go to and click on Helpful Links.


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