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It’s that time of year again.
Thousands of residents in our region who get their health insurance through Affordable Care Act marketplaces have to lock in their plans for coverage beginning in 2024.
The annual open enrollment period, which begins Nov. 1, is the only time for many people to sign up for coverage, switch plans, and explore savings programs.
It’s crucial that people do not wait until the last minute or miss final deadlines to make decisions, said Devon Trolley, executive director of Pennie, the marketplace in Pennsylvania.
“There really is only one time to enroll, and if people wait until they get sick or injured, it will be too late if they miss open enrollment,” she said.
Many participants will be eligible for financial assistance, including tax credits that can bring down monthly premium payments or cost sharing reductions that help pay for out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copays.
The number of participating insurers and specific plans vary by individual county, and enrollment deadlines differ by state.
State residents who do not already get health insurance from their employers or other assistance programs like Medicaid can review and select plans on Pennie’s website and portal.
Jefferson Health Plans will join eight returning insurers to offer individual and small group plans across the commonwealth this year. Jefferson will offer plans in Bucks, Philadelphia, and Montgomery counties.
Highmark is also expanding into Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties, and Geisinger will now offer individual and small group options in Bedford County.
There are also stand-alone dental health insurance options. These plans will be offered to residents in 59 counties.
Monthly premiums will rise by a statewide average of 3.9%, according to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. Exact premium increases or decreases will vary by each insurance plan.
About nine in 10 people will qualify for some kind of financial discount or savings, state officials said.