PA’s “Pennie” State health insurance market will meet next week to decide if and how it will adopt the new federal extension of medical health insurance slated to begin February 1.
The federal government has just announced that qualified families and individuals can apply for a wide range of subsidized health insurance benefits during a new 3-month open period for signing up beginning February 1. Under present regulations, the window for applications would have ended on January 31.
The program will allow people who do not presently have insurance to obtain coverage – a major concern during the current pandemic. For Pennsylvania residents, the new controlling agency for State insurance, “Pennie,” will convene in the next few days to confirm its own extended sign-up period.
President Biden signed the bill allowing the insurance extension via HealthCare.gov – which former Pres. Trump had not approved. The new administration will also begin reversing other Conservative measures like counseling on family planning and abortion, contraception, and the need in some states for low-income healthcare applicants to seek employment in order to qualify for Medicaid.
“There’s nothing new that we’re doing here other than restoring the Affordable Care Act and restoring Medicaid to the way it was before Trump became president,” stated Pres. Biden indicating that he was trying to reverse what he called the Republican attack on women’s health.
According to the government release, the “special enrollment period” will be operated through the individual states that have their own insurance markets.
Obamacare (or the Affordable Care Act) allows coverage without regard to prior medical history or preexisting health concerns – including COVID-19. The new program will be funded from existing money already authorized by Congress and simply not spent by the Trump administration. The money was accumulated due to cuts in services imposed by Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services.
Under Pres. Biden’s new directives, the Department of Health and Human Services will also look into reopening government aided family planning clinics for women considering abortions and relaxing other restrictions on programs under the Affordable Care Act imposed by Trump.
These relaxations come at the same time some states like South Carolina are making it almost impossible for women to obtain legal abortions.