Governor Wolf Submits Application to Federal Government for State-Based Marketplace to Protect 382,000 Pennsylvanians

Harrisburg, PA – In an effort to protect 382,000 Pennsylvanians from losing federal health care subsidies, Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance submitted an application to the federal government yesterday to set up a State-based Marketplace. This is part of Governor Wolf’s contingency plan in case the United States Supreme Court rules that people are not eligible for subsidies to help them afford health coverage in states where the federal government runs the health insurance marketplaces.

“I am continuing to take steps, as part of my contingency plan, in order to protect 382,000 Pennsylvanians from potentially losing subsidies that help them afford health care coverage,” said Governor Wolf. “Yesterday, my administration submitted an application to set up a State-Based Marketplace to ensure Pennsylvanians do not lose coverage in the event of an adverse Supreme Court decision.”

Submitting an application is part of Governor Wolf’s contingency plan to protect 382,000 Pennsylvanians from losing subsidies that help them afford health insurance coverage. In the beginning of May, Governor Wolf sent a letter to the federal Department of Health and Human Services declaring Pennsylvania’s intent to implement a State-based Marketplace for Pennsylvanians to shop for health insurance coverage in the event the Supreme Court rules that people are not eligible for subsidies to help them afford health coverage in states where the federal government runs the health insurance marketplaces.

“I am committed to protecting hardworking Pennsylvanians from losing the assistance they rely on to purchase health care coverage,” Governor Wolf continued. “These actions do not mean that Pennsylvania must set up a state-based marketplace. However, the responsible thing to do is set up a plan to protect hundreds of thousands of people and I look forward to working with members of the legislature to advance this plan if necessary.”

The submission of an application to set up a State-based Marketplace does not mean that Pennsylvania has to set up a state-based marketplace. This is simply another step in an effort to leave the door open so the state has this option in the event of an adverse Supreme Court ruling.

Governor Wolf’s actions come as the Supreme Court is expected to rule in late June on King v. Burwell, a lawsuit arguing that people in states where the federal government runs the health insurance marketplaces are not eligible for subsidies to help them afford coverage. In Pennsylvania, about 382,000 people are receiving subsidies in 2015, and the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 736,000 people could be enrolled in subsidized coverage in 2016.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Sheridan – 717.783.1116

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