Pennsylvania Health Insurance: 2021 Coverage Guide
Pennsylvania Affordable Healthcare Insurance
The folks in Pennsylvania have several health insurance plans to choose from and they should compare rates carefully before making any health care decisions. If you’re an individual buying health care coverage for yourself or a family, you can get the insurance you need at the best prices by comparing your options with SmartFinancial. You must enroll in a health plan during the open enrollment, unless you are eligible for the Special Enrollment Period due to a qualifying event.
When Is Open Enrollment in Pennsylvania?
November 1, 2020 - January 15, 2021. The coverage begins in January 2021.
How to Get Health Insurance in Pennsylvania
Get an idea of your healthcare costs for the following year based on the previous year. You’ll need this information to make good decisions which type of coverage is right for you, and which level tier will save you money. Sometimes, higher premiums end up saving you money if you frequently visit care providers.
The best way to get superior value in coverage is to compare health insurance companies and health insurance quotes. After submitting the form you’ll get several competing health insurance rates to choose from, and we’ll put you in touch with an insurance agent in your area so you can buy coverage or ask questions.
What Types of Health Insurance Are Available in Pennsylvania?
The main types of health insurance plans are HMOs, EPOs, PPOs and POS plans. These are available in Pennsylvania in different tiers of coverage, which cost different prices. You can also choose a plan based on how much coverage it provides. In Pennsylvania, plans come in platinum, gold, silver and bronze, which is the cheapest type of plan you can buy.
Does Health Insurance Cover Pre-existing Conditions?
It is illegal for marketplace health plans to deny anyone health insurance coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
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Do I Qualify for a Special Enrollment Period?
Common reasons people qualify for a special enrollment period:
- Did you lose or quit a job? You may have lost a job, changed jobs or even started your own business. If so, you qualify for the special enrollment period.
- Did you turn 26? If so, you’re no longer eligible to remain on your parents’ health insurance plan but can enroll in an individual health plan outside the open enrollment period.
- Did you move? You may have had a health plan that was only valid in one area but you moved to another region after the enrollment period ended. You can sign up for a new health plan.
- Did Cobra coverage end? If you extended your healthcare with Cobra and reached the deadline, you can enroll in a new health plan.
- Did you divorce? If you shared a health plan coverage with your spouse but divorced, you can buy a new health plan.
- Did you get married? If you recently married, you may be able to get added onto your spouse’s policy or start an entirely new one together.
- Did you have a baby? If your baby was born or brought home after the open enrollment deadline, you can buy insurance for your baby.
- Did your spouse or partner pass away? If you were covered under your spouse or partner’s health plan, you can enroll in a new individual plan.
- Did your spouse or partner lose coverage? If you had health insurance through a partner or spouse who lost his/her coverage for any qualifying reason, you can buy an individual plan or buy coverage with that spouse/partner again.
Is Health Insurance Required in Pennsylvania?
No, only California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Rhode Island, and DC still require health insurance. Otherwise, there is a tax penalty. Even though it’s not required in every state, buying health insurance is necessary to avoid medical bankruptcy.
How Much Is Health Insurance in Pennsylvania?
The average cost of health insurance in Pennsylvania for a 40 year old is about $329 a month. Health insurance is less expensive, the younger you are. Tobacco use increases health insurance rates.
How to Save on Health Insurance in Pennsylvania
The best way to save on health insurance in Pennsylvania is to compare rates based on the tier system. Beforehand, you’ll want to estimate your medical costs.
Medicare in Pennsylvania
Medicare is health insurance coverage for Americans ages 65 years and older. The government also allows younger people with disabilities to enroll in the program. Individuals with End-Stage Renal Disease can also sign up as can some individuals with severe mental health issues. Others who qualify for Medicare disability coverage are individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Most beneficiaries will receive Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Some people buy Medicare Advantage instead, because it includes Part A and B as well as offering vision, dental and prescription drug coverage.
How Many People Are on Medicare in Pennsylvania?
21% of the entire population of Pennsylvania is on Medicare.
How Much Is Medicare in Pennsylvania?
If you do not qualify for Medicare, you can buy it for $458 a month for Part A in 2020 and a standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B was $144.60 for 2020, or even higher depending on income.
Original Medicare vs Medicare Advantage: What’s the Difference?
Medicare is a government subsidized health plan that is available to qualified Americans age 65 and older. Medicare Advantage is sold through private health insurance companies, but these policies are also regulated by the government. Medicare Advantage plans offer the same benefits as Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare Advantage plans also offer more coverage for dental, vision, hearing and prescription drugs. Medicare Advantage plans have a maximum out-of-pocket limit. For 2020, it was $6,700 but many plans set their maximums at a much lower cost. That is why it’s important to compare companies. People who opt for original Medicare can buy Medicare Supplements to help with out-of-pocket costs. You cannot buy both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan during open enrollment, you will automatically be disenrolled from original Medicare.
How to Get Medicare Coverage in Pennsylvania
If you receive social security payments, you may automatically enroll in Medicare, but you may have to sign up if you do not receive payments. The easiest way to enroll in Medicare is by working with a trusted insurance agent to get the coverages you want. Just enter your zip code and answer a few simple questions.
Types of Medicare Plans Available
Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost Plans (only offered in certain areas), Demonstration/Pilot Programs (also called Research Studies; only offered in certain areas) and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).
How Do I Qualify for Medicare?
To qualify for Medicare you must be a citizen of the U.S. or have been a legal resident for at least five years. If you are age 65 or older and you/your spouse have worked for at least 10 years (40 quarters) or you have a disability, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), you most likely qualify for Medicare.
How Can I Save on Medicare in Pennsylvania?
You can save on Medicare by signing up for Part B as soon as you’re eligible. People who enroll late must pay a penalty every year. If you’re interested in buying Medicare Advantage, you can shop and compare Medicare plans for the best value.
Pennsylvania State Health System Ranking
Ever wonder how your state stacks up when it comes to quality healthcare? The Commonwealth Fund published a report in 2020 on State Health System Performance. They took into consideration the access to quality care, health outcomes, and disparities in all 50 states. The scores for the Pennsylvania Health System are listed below:
- Pennsylvania: Overall Ranking: 21 of 51
- Pennsylvania: Overall Performance: Below U.S. Average
- Pennsylvania: Access and Affordability: 14
- Pennsylvania: Prevention and Treatment: 21
- Pennsylvania: Avoidable Hospital Use and Cost: 32
- Pennsylvania: Healthy Lives: 33
- Pennsylvania: Health Care Disparities: 23
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Pennsylvania Health Insurance Coverage
The people of Pennsylvania have different kinds of health insurance while some Pennsylvania residents are not insured at all. See the breakdown below:
- Private coverage: 52%
- Medicaid: 20%
- Medicare: 21%
- Uninsured: 7%
Report: America's Health Insurance Plans
Pennsylvania Health Insurance Companies
- Ambetter from PA Health and Wellness
- Capital Advantage Assurance Company
- Geisinger Health Plan
- Geisinger Quality Options
- Highmark Benefits Group Inc.
- Highmark Choice Company
- Highmark Coverage Advantage inc.
- Highmark Inc.
- Independence Blue Cross
- Keystone Health Plan East, Inc.
- Oscar Health Plan of Pennsylvania, Inc.
- Pennsylvania Health & Wellness, Inc.
- UPMC Health Options, Inc.
- Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Independence Blue Cross
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We have some frequently asked questions that will help you as you comparison shop health insurance rates online. Whether you’re looking for a low-cost health insurance quote or if you’re applying for Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplements we’re here to help.
It’s always a good idea to get acquainted with the way plans are set up and what you’re responsible to pay before open enrollment which takes place in late fall. If you have a qualifying event, like a new job or if you’ve moved, had a baby, gotten divorced or had any life change that affect your coverage, you may be able to buy a new health insurance plan today.
Like auto and homeowners insurance healthcare insurance also has a deductible which needs to be paid before insurance begins to cover expenses. However, healthcare deductibles work a little differently. For instance, your healthcare insurance will pay for some services even before you meet your deductible.
You may be shopping for health insurance because you got a new job, which doesn’t offer health insurance. Some people even prefer to have a health plan separate from their jobs. It’s usually a more expensive option to buy an individual health insurance policy when an employer offers to pay a portion of your premiums each month. However, some people prefer to choose their own insurance company and a plan that fits their needs.