What Pennsylvania Residents Need to Know About Obama Care (the Affordable Care Act or ACA) Coverage for 2018

Pennsylvania Obamacare

Obamacare Is Not Dead! What Pennsylvania Residents Need to Know About Obamacare for 2018

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Obamacare Is Not Dead! What Pennsylvania Residents Need to Know About Obamacare for 2018

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has not been repealed. You are still required to comply with the ACA and you are still entitled to its benefits.

This website provides information about getting health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including:

To begin, keep in mind these key points about health insurance in Pennsylvania:

1. You are legally required to have health insurance unless you qualify for an exemption.

The Affordable Care Act requires you to enroll in a health insurance plan unless you qualify for an exemption from the law. You must report whether you have coverage -- or whether you are exempt -- when you file your taxes in April.

To learn whether your current health plan satisfies the requirements of the Affordable Care Act or to find out whether you qualify for an exemption, see Do I Need to Get Obamacare in Pennsylvania?

2. Open enrollment has ended for 2018 health care plans, but you can still get health insurance if you qualify for a special enrollment period.

For 2018, Obamacare's open enrollment period ended on December 15. This means that, unless you qualify for an exception, you can't obtain health insurance through HealthCare.gov until the 2019 open enrollment period begins in the fall of 2018.

To find out more, including ways you might still get covered, see What Happens If I Missed the Pennsylvania Obamacare Enrollment Deadline?

3. In states affected by hurricanes, open enrollment is extended until December 31.

If you live in an area affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, or Nate -- or if you had to move from one of these areas -- you qualify for a special open enrollment extension through December 31. Until that date, you can sign up for 2018 coverage at HealthCare.gov.

These areas include the states of FloridaSouth CarolinaGeorgia, and Alabama, and designated counties in TexasLouisiana, and Mississippi

4. You can shop for health insurance plans at HealthCare.gov.

During open enrollment, or when you qualify for an exception, you can use the website HealthCare.gov to choose your health insurance plan, apply for cost-saving tax credits, and get other help you need.

If you are currently uninsured, you can use the state marketplace to compare plans and enroll in a plan that meets your needs. 

If you already have health insurance, you may be able to keep your current plan -- or you can use HealthCare.gov to shop for a new one.

To learn more about enrollment, see How Do I Sign Up for Obamacare in Pennsylvania?

5. Tax credits are still available to save you money.

Many people who sign up for insurance at the Pennsylvania exchange will be eligible for cost savings. For 2018 health insurance plans, savings are available in the form of tax credits to help you lower your premiums.

In addition, if your income is very low, you may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid in Pennsylvania.

For more information, see Ways to Save Money on Obamacare in Pennsylvania.

6. Trump's cancellation of subsidies for insurers may not hit your pocketbook in 2018.

On October 12, 2017, the Trump administration ended subsidies for insurers called "cost-sharing reductions." These payments to insurance companies allowed them to reduce deductibles and co-payments for Americans with incomes between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level.

In the long run, this decision could destabilize the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplaces. For 2018 coverage, however, many people's pocketbooks may escape direct effects because HealthCare.gov tax credits will increase to cover the damages.

If you do NOT qualify for tax credits through HealthCare.gov, you may get a better deal by purchasing an insurance plan directly from an insurance company. Be sure to compare the costs of plans available to you through HealthCare.gov to those available directly from insurers in your area.

An insurance agent or broker may be the best bet for sorting out your options. To find one, see How To Sign Up for Obamacare in Pennsylvania.

7. You can get help signing up if you need it. 

This year, it may be more difficult to find enrollment help if you need it. The Trump administration has drastically cut funding for the programs that provide enrollment help. But that doesn't mean you have to fend for yourself. 

For the resources available to you, see Get Help Finding a Health Insurance Plan in Pennsylvania.

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