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Health Insurance Deadlines Just Weeks Away

Affordable health insurance coverage remains available, but deadlines loom

By Andrea Sears, Public News Service
For The Post Publications

HARRISBURG PA – Pennsylvanians young and old have only a few weeks to make important decisions on health insurance options. For those older than age 65, open enrollment for Medicare ends Dec. 7. For those younger, open enrollment for insurance through the state marketplace ends Dec. 15.

Federal subsidies remain available under the Affordable Care Act for people who make up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, according to Joanne Grossi, state president of AARP of Pennsylvania. About 675,000 Pennsylvanians still have no health insurance, she reported.

Help is available to register for both marketplace insurance, and Medicare. Get assistance from marketplace navigators by calling 877-570-3642, and Medicare assistance through the state’s free health insurance counseling program at 800-783-7067.

“Eighty-one percent of the people who are getting insurance through the marketplace are getting financial assistance, an average of $4,000 a year. (It) means that actually about 70 percent of Pennsylvanians are paying premiums less than $75 a month,” Grossi explained.

She acknowledges the variety of Medicare plans available can be confusing. Getting qualified help with making the right choice can be very important. “You can get a regular Medicare plan, or Medigap plan, or a Medicare Advantage plan, and that’s why I can’t stress enough figuring out what’s best for you in terms of your financial situation, your physical health,” she suggested.

Currently, 2.5 million Pennsylvanians are enrolled in Medicare, state statistics show.

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