As the Affordable Care Act goes before the Supreme Court Tuesday for the third time, one group in Pennsylvania that helps people enroll in health care coverage says despite the court challenge, the law is still in effect and health care coverage is still available.
“The law is still the law,” said Antoinette Kraus, executive director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network. Her organization assists people seeking coverage through the ACA and other health care programs.
While she said many are fearful of losing their insurance if the ACA is overturned, people should still take advantage of any coverage or subsidies they might qualify for.
“We’re hearing from a lot of individuals across the state, folks that have ACA coverage, they’re really worried about losing that coverage,” Kraus said.
“We’re also hearing from a lot of folks that have benefited in other ways: so, they have a preexisting condition, they’re worried that if the ACA is overturned they’ll once again be denied coverage, we’re hearing from parents who have been able to keep their kids on their insurance. So you know, folks are worried about losing their coverage,” she said.
The annual open enrollment period for the ACA started November 1 and runs until January 15. This year, people in Pennsylvania should use the state’s new website, Pennie.com, rather than the federal marketplace web site healthcare.gov.
Additionally, in Pennsylvania, more than 800,000 people have health care coverage through the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid, according to recent statistics from the state.
Kraus said she does not expect a decision in the court case prior to June.
“While people are scared and they should be, it’s important for people to understand the Affordable Care Act is still here,” she said.