Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh, Acting Insurance Commissioner Mike Humphreys, and Pennie® Director of External Affairs Chachi Angelo today reminded Pennsylvanians of the upcoming end of pandemic flexibilities for Medicaid and CHIP coverage, and affirmed the Shapiro Administration’s commitment to helping Pennsylvanians stay covered when federal changes to Medicaid renewals take effect on April 1, 2023.
“Knowing we have health coverage or insurance gives the peace of mind and dignity that we can get the care we need – and deserve – when we need it,” said Acting Secretary Arkoosh. “We need to make sure that any Pennsylvanians who receives health coverage through the state knows about these upcoming changes to our Medicaid and CHIP programs so they can protect themselves and stay covered.”
Starting in 2020, the federal public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed for individuals to continue to remain enrolled in Medicaid even if they became ineligible based on regular eligibility criteria, except in rare circumstances. This is also known as the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement. In December 2022, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 into law, which effectively ends the continuous coverage requirement on March 31, 2023. Beginning April 1, 2023, all Pennsylvanians must once again return to completing an annual renewal when it is due in order to maintain Medicaid or CHIP coverage.
No one will lose Medicaid or CHIP coverage without an opportunity to renew their coverage or update their information. Renewals will be completed over 12 months, and renewals due in March 2023 will be the first to be affected by the end of continuous coverage. All Medicaid recipients will need to go through a renewal process around the time of their normal renewal date over that 12-month period to determine if they are still eligible for Medicaid.
Pennsylvanians can update their contact information, report changes in their personal circumstances, and check their renewal date:
“Individuals should consider Pennie as an option to maintain health insurance for themselves and their families,” said Acting Commissioner Mike Humphreys. “Through Special Enrollment Periods and the Path to Pennie program, there are multiple avenues to get coverage through Pennie, and coverage has never been more affordable than it is now. The Insurance Department is committed to assisting Pennsylvanians find affordable access to quality health care coverage, and to making obtaining coverage as easy as possible.”
Pennie is Pennsylvania’s official health and dental coverage marketplace and the only place to get financial assistance to help lower the cost of high-quality coverage and care. Those losing Medicaid or CHIP coverage can apply for coverage through pennie.com, and some individuals will have their information securely transferred from Medicaid or CHIP for an easier enrollment process. Pennie provides personalized, unbiased support and expertise virtually, over the phone, or in-person and in one’s preferred language. Customers can simply call Pennie Customer Service at 1-844-844-8040 or find Pennie-certified pros at pennie.com/connect. Anyone who looked at options through the health insurance marketplace in years past should look again. Pennie is tailored to Pennsylvanians and now has more plan options, lower costs, and better coordination with the Medicaid and CHIP programs.
“Pennie is here to help connect Pennsylvanians with quality, affordable health coverage. For anyone losing Medicaid or CHIP, Pennie encourages individuals and families to act quickly to enroll to avoid a gap in coverage,” said Pennie External Affairs Director Chachi Angelo. “With nine out of 10 Pennie customers qualifying for financial savings, Pennie offers a variety of plans at low or even no cost.”
If a person is found to be ineligible for their current coverage or does not complete their renewal on time, their Medicaid coverage will end. Pennsylvanians who are no longer eligible for Medicaid will be referred to other sources of affordable medical coverage like CHIP and Pennie®, so they have no lapse in quality, affordable health care.
The Department of Human Services, along with Pennie® and other agencies across the Commonwealth, is undertaking an aggressive, multi-pronged outreach plan to inform Pennsylvanians of upcoming changes. Medicaid recipients have already begun receiving communications from DHS and will continue to receive mail, text, email, and phone calls to make certain they are aware of the federal action affecting their benefits. DHS is also planning coordinated broad public communications via social media, community stakeholders, and press channels to notify the public of this change for Medicaid recipients. This social media outreach – primarily for individuals to keep contact information up-to-date to receive information on time – has been ongoing for months.
“Every Pennsylvanian who receives health coverage through Medicaid needs to know about this requirement to renew their coverage every year, and we’re asking all Pennsylvanians to help us spread the word so that no one risks a loss of or lapse in their health coverage,” said Acting Secretary Arkoosh. “I urge all Medicaid recipients to update your contact information with DHS so that the information you need about your renewal reaches you.”
To learn more about Medicaid and CHIP renewals and access educational resources, visit www.dhs.pa.gov/phe.
For more information on health insurance options available to Pennsylvanians, visit www.pa.gov/health-insurance.
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