[Image description: A rectangular graphic with photos of three families in the corners. A text box with a gold border has purple and black text that reads "Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center presents free healthcare enrollment assistance" and "bradburysullivancenter.org/pennie." The logos for Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center and Pennie are featured above horizontal intersectional Pride stripes. The families represent a range of gender expressions and races.]
The 2020 Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment found that 1 in 20 respondents had no health care coverage. Financial security is another area of imbalance that affects the health of LGBTQ+ individuals. More than 4 in 10 respondents are living paycheck to paycheck. Access to affordable healthcare coverage is one crucial step in shrinking the health needs disparities experienced by those in the LGBTQ+ community.
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center has paired up with Pennsylvania's Health Insurance Exchange (Pennie) to assist in getting members of the LGBTQ+ community enrolled in affordable, quality healthcare coverage. Pennie is the state-based healthcare insurance marketplace that takes the place of healthcare.gov, and is the only place to access financial assistance, if eligible.
Our PENNIE Assisters will be scheduling both in-person and virtual events in order to promote and educate individuals about Pennie and how to obtain insurance through the state-based marketplace. In-person events will occur at LGBTQ+ community-based organizations across Pennsylvania. Virtual events will be hosted in conjunction with these organizations as well. In addition to these scheduled events, Assisters will have availability for one-on-one enrollment help at their “home” location. From browsing to uploading any required documentation, Assisters can help you apply and enroll in a health plan through Pennie.
The Open Enrollment Period for Pennie is
November 1, 2021 through January 15, 2022
However, the Special Enrollment Period is any time during the plan year if you qualify for a Qualifying Life Event (e.g. loss of job-based healthcare, turning 26, marriage/divorce).
There are 4 basic types of qualifying life events. (The following are examples, not a full list.)
Loss of health coverage
- Losing existing health coverage, including job-based coverage, individual, and student plans
- Losing eligibility for Medicaid, CHIP, or Medicare
- Turning 26 and losing coverage through a parent's plan
Changes in household
- Getting married or divorced
- Having a baby or adopting a child
- Death in the family
Changes in residence
- Moving to a different ZIP code or county within Pennsylvania
- A permanent move from another state into Pennsylvania
- A student moving to or from the place they attend school
- A seasonal worker moving to or from the place they both live and work
- Moving to or from a shelter or other transitional housing
Other qualifying events
- Changes in your income that affect the coverage you qualify for
- Gaining membership in a federally recognized tribe or status as an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporation shareholder
- Gaining a qualifying immigration status
- Leaving incarceration (jail or prison)
- AmeriCorps members starting or ending their service
Note: Some QLEs must be verified by Pennie in order to open up a Special Enrollment Period. If one of the above situations applies to you, make sure to have your information handy when you go to apply.
Start the process by visiting pennie.com or contact our Healthcare Enrollment Assisters:
Please contact whichever Assister is closest to you.
Owen Pudliner (he/him)
522 West Maple Street, Allentown, PA 18101
Assister Certification #: 5000000135
David Celli (he/him)
1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Assister Certification #: 5000000137
Jordan Sánchez (they/she)
127 Anderson Street, Suite 101, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Assister Certification #: 5000000194