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April 2, 2021 Outreach and Enrollment News

Author: Amanda Tekely/Monday, April 5, 2021/Categories: Outreach News

Georgetown University Health Policy Initiative Highlights PA’s Marketplace

The Center on Health Insurance Reforms through Georgetown University Health Policy Institute published a report on Pennsylvania and New Jersey’s Inaugural Enrollment Period as a state-based marketplace. The article reviews some successes, identifies growing pains and offers several key takeaways for the next enrollment period. Read more.

 

New Guidance to Pennie Enrollment Assisters

Pennie’s Board of Directors approved a COBRA Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for those who are eligible for the COBRA subsidy under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and will receive 100% subsidy for their COBRA premium from April 1, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2021. The SEP will be available after the COBRA subsidy comes to an end. 

  • When the ARPA COBRA subsidy for a qualified individual runs out on Sept. 30, 2021, they can contact Pennie and open a COBRA special enrollment period (SEP) with a cost-sharing reduction (CSR), providing them with 60 days to secure coverage. The customer can begin reviewing plans Aug. 2nd in accordance with the SEP.
  • Under the COBRA SEP, a customer will qualify for the maximum advance premium tax credit (APTC) as provided under ARPA for those claiming unemployment for at least one week, regardless of whether they collect unemployment compensation benefit payments.. The exception - a person who has been discharged from their employer and ineligible for unemployment.
  • If the customer transitions from the COBRA SEP to 2021 coverage with Pennie and seeks to continue coverage through Pennie for Plan Year 2022, enhanced subsidies due to unemployment in 2021 will NOT continue in 2022; however, the general ARPA subsidies will apply in 2022.

CMS Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education Meets

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education (APOE) was established to advise the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and CMS concerning strategies for developing and implementing outreach and enrollment programs for individuals enrolled in, or eligible for, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, the Health Insurance Marketplace and other CMS programs. Tia Whitaker, PACHC’s Statewide Director for Outreach and Enrollment, was appointed to the panel in 2019 representing Community Health Centers. The APOE met on March 31 to discuss COVID-19 therapies, Medicare COVID-19 research and outreach and new cost savings available to consumers accessing healthcare coverage through the Federal and State-based Marketplaces from the American Rescue Plan Act. Presentations from Meredith K. Chuk, MD, lead for the COVID-19 Therapeutics Team, HHS Office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Chris Koepke, Ph.D., Director of the Strategic Marketing Group, Office of Communications, CMS, and Laura Salerno, Deputy Director of the Strategic Marketing Group, Office of Communications, CMS, focused on messaging, branding, outreach tactics, strategies and target populations to educate consumers and market COVID-19 therapies, reduce vaccine hesitancy and make consumers more aware of the availability of health insurance through the state and federal marketplaces.

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