Ahead of October 1 Enrollment Launch, Fattah Applauds HHS Report on Lower than Expected Pennsylvania Healthcare Premiums

Sep 27, 2013, 10:44 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With less than five days until the new Pennsylvania Healthcare Marketplace opens, Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA-02) applauded a recent report that showed lower premiums and more health plan options for Pennsylvania residents. Fattah who represents the Commonwealth's Second District said that the findings from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are welcome news for Philadelphians and constituents around the state.  

"This report shows the incredible value and choice in healthcare plans that millions of Americans will have access to in a matter of days. Healthcare has been out of reach for far too many individuals—until now," Fattah said. "Next week, almost 900,000 Pennsylvanians can begin to enroll in health plans that will bring a new sense of security and stability. Access to affordable healthcare is a critical to building a stronger, healthier Pennsylvania."

Next Tuesday, October 1, marks the beginning of the open enrollment program for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), when Pennsylvanians will be able to use the Marketplace to compare and purchase health insurance coverage

The HHS report released this week revealed that individuals in the state will have an average of 56 qualified health plans to choose from. In Philadelphia, consumers will be able to choose between 42 plans.

Among its other findings, the report showed that:

  • In Philadelphia, a 27-year old who makes $25,000 per year will pay $94 per month for the lowest cost plan, taking into account tax credits.
  • A family of four in Philadelphia with an income of $50,000 per year would pay only $96 per month for the lowest cost plan.
  • The majority of currently uninsured individuals will be able to find coverage for $100 or less in the Marketplace (taking into account premium tax credits and Medicaid coverage).

Since ACA was signed into law into law in 2010, Pennsylvanians have seen considerable gains in accessibility and expanded coverage.  Already, approximately 91,000 young adults in Pennsylvania have gained insurance by staying on their parents' health policies until they reach the age of 26. In addition to being below the national average, Pennsylvania's exchange boasts some of the lowest premium prices in the country for both individuals and families.

In a conference call last week with Families USA to promote ACA and Pennsylvania's open enrollment, Fattah said that Health Insurance Marketplace launch is big moment for the many hard-working families and children throughout the state: "There are going to be real choices for Pennsylvanians… in many instances that did not exist before. There's an understanding now that real help is going to be provided for real people. We want to make sure that this enrollment period goes smoothly; and that people have adequate information."

Congressman Fattah was a leading Congressional advocate for President Obama's healthcare and health insurance reform plan, and helped steer the legislative strategy that ultimately led to the bill's singing into law.

Open enrollment in the Pennsylvania Marketplace will begin October 1 and runs through March 2014, with coverage beginning as early as January 2014. Pennsylvanians can find more information on Marketplace coverage through www.HealthCare.gov or www.cuidadodesalud.gov. They can also call 1-800-318-2596 toll free to speak with a trained customer service representative with translation services available in 150 languages.

To access the report, "Health Insurance Marketplace Premiums for 2014," and view the state-by-state data, visit: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/MarketplacePremiums/ib_marketplace_premiums.cfm

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah