The official deadline for enrollment in the government's Affordable Care Act Marketplace health plans passed this Sunday. In the week leading up to the deadline, more than 30,000 Pennsylvanians made the last-minute effort to sign up, bringing the total number enrolled in the state to 471,930, according to the latest U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services numbers — that's 52 percent of all Pennsylvanians eligible for the Marketplace health plans.
"Here in the Pittsburgh metro area, it's almost 79,000 people who didn't have health insurance before now have it," says Neil Deegan, Pennsylvania State Director of Get Covered America, a campaign organized by Enroll America, a nonprofit that focuses on ACA outreach. "That's a credit to a number of local organizations in Southwestern Pennsylvanians."
wrote about the grassroots campaigns of in-person health-care "navigators" in Pittsburgh
in its Feb. 4 issue. The workers are with organizations like the Consumer Health Coalition, Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania and the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh.
The breakdown in other parts of the state include 248,265 enrollees in the Philadelphia metro area and 30,298 in Allentown.
"It's a huge deal, and the work's not over," Deegan says.
That's because anyone who started their federal Marketplace applications, either in-person, over the phone or on Healthcare.gov, before the Feb. 15 deadline but who did not finish, are eligible to complete the process before Feb. 22 and still receive a health plan that will begin on March 1.
Additionally, there is no deadline for those eligible for the newly expanded Medicaid program in Pennsylvania
People who still need to finish their ACA applications or who are eligible for Medicaid can call 2-1-1 or visit GetCoveredAmerica.org/Connector
, Deegan says.