Oct. 16, 2020

Rates on state-based exchange already show cost savings

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvanians who buy health insurance on a new state-based exchange are seeing lower costs thanks to legislation introduced in the House and sponsored by Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster). That is according to the Pennsylvanian Department of Insurance, which approved lower rates for 2021 and attributed the savings to House Bill 3, now known as Act 42 of 2019.

“Our bill established a state-based insurance exchange and reinsurance program, providing a more stable marketplace for Pennsylvanians who use the exchange to find coverage,” Cutler said. “To see a cost savings already, especially in a year of nearly unprecedented health care challenges, proves why our members so strongly supported this move.”

Statistics from the Insurance department show a 3.3% decrease for individual market plans, and a 2.1% decrease in small group market costs.

“Last year’s enactment of Act 42, creating the state exchange and Pennsylvania reinsurance program, played a significant role in driving individual market premiums down for 2021,” Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said in a department release. “In fact, the reinsurance program is the reason individual market rates are decreasing rather than increasing this year.”

Last month, Pennsylvania introduced Pennie, the new state-based health insurance marketplace for 2021 coverage. Pennie is available to all Pennsylvanians and aims to improve the accessibility and affordability of individual market health coverage. The state exchange makes no changes to the requirements, pre-existing conditions or any other enrollment requirements that exist at the federal level, and if the Affordable Care Act program changes or is eliminated, the Pennsylvania exchange would reflect those changes.

The Trump administration opened opportunities for states to create exchanges unique to the challenges and needs facing individual states through an executive order on President Donald Trump’s first day in office.

Consumers interested in learning more about the exchange and important open enrollment dates can visit the insurance department’s website.

Speaker Bryan Cutler
100th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives