HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Insurance Commissioner today alerted Pennsylvania consumers of the federal government's decision to extend the deadline for purchasing health insurance that will take effect on January 1. Consumers now have until 11:59 p.m. PST on December 19 to enroll in a health insurance plan for coverage to begin at the start of the new year.
"Pennsylvanians now have an additional three days to explore their options and select a plan from the federal marketplace at www.Healthcare.gov," said Commissioner Miller. "I applaud the federal government for giving consumers more time to make this important decision."
Federal officials with the www.Healthcare.gov marketplace cited high demand to the Marketplace Call Center as the reason for the extension. Consumers who contacted the federally-run call center for assistance with enrolling and left contact information to hold their place in line will be contacted when it is their turn in the queue, per a message on www.Healthcare.gov.
Commissioner Miller strongly encouraged consumers who still need health insurance coverage to make use of the extension.
"I urge all consumers who did not select a plan by December 15 to take advantage of this opportunity to ensure that you and your family will have health insurance coverage come January 1," said Commissioner Miller.
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has resources available to help consumers understand what they need to consider when shopping for a plan. A printable shopper's guide and videos in English and Spanish are available to help consumers looking for coverage.
In addition to these resources, the department recently announced a partnership with Consumers' Checkbook on a website that allows consumers to compare on- and off-exchange plans available in their area. In some areas, consumers may find that off-exchange plans may be less expensive than on-exchange options; however, only on-exchange plans are eligible for financial assistance. The plan comparison tool, which is available at https://pa.checkbookhealth.org, allows consumers to enter personal data to compare estimated yearly out-of-pocket costs, overall quality of plans, and doctor and prescription drug availability
Open enrollment for 2017 health insurance coverage continues through January 31, 2017. Coverage purchased on or before December 19 will take effect January 1.
For more information on health insurance or to contact the Insurance Department's Bureau of Consumer Services, visit www.insurance.pa.gov or call 1-877-881-6388.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ali Fogarty, 717-787-3289
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Insurance