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Ahead of PA Open Enrollment, Make a Plan for Health Coverage, Experts Say -

Pennsylvanians have less than two months until open enrollment through Pennie, the state-run health insurance marketplace, and medical professionals say there is a lot to consider when trying to pick a plan which is right for you.

For residents who need to purchase their own plan for 2022, open enrollment through Pennie will run from Nov. 1 through Jan. 15. Twelve insurance companies are offering individual market plans through the exchange, with an average proposed rate increase of 2% from the previous year.

Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare employer and individual, said planning ahead is key when finding an affordable plan.

“Anticipate what your expenses are for next year,” Randall suggested. “Are you anticipating you’re going to need to have a certain procedure, or you’ve recently been diagnosed with a specific condition, or maybe you’re planning to expand your family?”

More than 330,000 Pennsylvanians are enrolled in coverage through Pennie, which replaced in the state in Sep. 2020.

Nearly 2.8 million state residents get their insurance through Medicare, which is for people 65 and older or living with a disability. Medicare offers robust coverage, but does not pay for outpatient prescription drugs or other types of care.

Randall recommended enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, which includes prescription drug coverage.

“You need to pick a separate prescription drug Part D program,” Randall explained. “It generally doesn’t cover supplemental benefits and things like vision, dental and hearing in most circumstances.”

There were 31 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans available in the Commonwealth for 2020, with monthly premiums ranging from $13 to $168. Medicare recipients can make changes to their coverage during the fall election period each year, from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, with coverage taking effect Jan. 1.