Last Updated: Jun 27, 2019
Gov. Wolf. has signed legislation to enable Pennsylvania to create its own health insurance exchange for Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual market plans. The bill received strong bipartisan support.
Currently, the state relies on the federal health insurance exchange for residents who are selecting ACA plans. Under the new legislation, Pennsylvania will join more than ten other states that operate their own state-based exchanges.
The goal of the legislation – which was introduced by Rep. Bryan Cutler as House Bill 3 (and is now called Act 42 of 2019) – is to reduce costs for the Commonwealth and for Pennsylvanians who obtain health insurance coverage via the ACA. The new law allows the state to apply for a Section 1332 State Relief and Empowerment federal waiver to establish a reinsurance program. This waiver program aims to lower the cost of insurance premiums.
According to Rep. Cutler’s co-sponsorship memo announcing the bill, the reinsurance program will not require any funds from the state’s General Fund. The federal government is expected to fund 75 percent of the program’s costs. The remaining costs will be covered by the Exchange authority created the legislation.
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