Category: News

Pennie Extends COVID-19 Enrollment Period to August 15

Uninsured Pennsylvanians or those affected by COVID-19 can visit and enroll in a plan through August 15   

Harrisburg, PA – March 25, 2021 – On March 25, the Pennie Board of Directors unanimously voted to extend the current COVID-19 Enrollment Period to August 15, 2021, aligning with the federal extension which was announced earlier this week. Pennie is committed to providing ample time and opportunity for Pennsylvanians to access quality health coverage and financial assistance.

Pennie is currently working to implement and make a reality the significant and exciting savings provided through the American Rescue Plan. These savings will increase financial assistance to those who currently receive it and will ensure no one will be paying more than 8.5 percent of their income on premiums through Pennie for the next two years. An extended enrollment period will give individuals more time to enroll in health coverage and take advantage of the new opportunities for financial assistance once they are implemented. Pennie is committed to providing tangible relief for those who are struggling with the pandemic and its economic repercussions and feels it is necessary to provide an extension of the COVID-19 Enrollment Period to ensure accessible and affordable coverage is an option to all Pennsylvanians during this public health emergency.

Another piece of the American Rescue Plan is providing more generous assistance to those who lost their jobs but want to remain on their employer health insurance plans through COBRA. Currently, those laid-off workers have to pay the full cost of that coverage but under the American Rescue Plan, they will pay no premiums for this coverage from April through September. Following September, Pennie encourages anyone on COBRA to consider switching over to Pennie for their low-cost or no-cost premiums. Pennie will be adding this transition as a qualifying life event for customers to enroll through a Special Enrollment Period.

Pennie is the only source for financial assistance to help with the cost of coverage and care and can also link customers to free certified experts to assist with the application or plan selection process. Pennie encourages anyone who has found themselves uninsured and is seeking coverage, to visit to learn more or to call Pennie customer care at 1-844-844-8040 before August 15.

About Pennie
Pennie is Pennsylvania’s state-affiliated health insurance marketplace created to reduce costs and better support the needs of customers purchasing health coverage. For more information, visit or follow us on social at // and //

April is National Alcohol Awareness Month

Excessive alcohol use is responsible for approximately 95,000 deaths in the United States each year. This month, let’s increase the awareness of alcohol abuse.


Get the Facts.

  • People who drink alcohol are more likely to have job performance issues.
  • Drinking too much alcohol may cause health problems, such as:
    • high blood pressure
    • brain, liver, heart, nervous system problems
    • cancer
    • learning and memory problems, including dementia
    • mental health problems, including depression and anxiety

Take Action.

  • Identify your reasons. Make a list of the reasons you want to cut down on or stop drinking alcohol. You might want to ask a trusted friend or family member to help you make a complete list.
  • Make a plan. Set a date to stop drinking. Post the list in places where you can see it often.
  • Avoid stumbling blocks. Many things can interfere with meeting your goal to cut down on or stop drinking. If your current life revolves around alcohol use, you might need to choose new friends or a new lifestyle.
  • Reward yourself. Use the money that you are no longer spending on drinking to do something fun with your family or friends. Go out to eat, see a movie, or play sports or a game.

Getting Help

  • Some people can stop drinking on their own; others need medical help to manage the physical withdrawal process.
  • Many people attend self-help groups to help them stick to their plan to cut down or stop drinking. If you are not sure whether a self-help group is for you but would like to try, go to a group at least 3 times before you make your decision.
  • If you drank after successfully stopping (relapse), it does not mean that you have failed. Relapse is common. Begin again, using your experience to help you learn how to stick with your plan this time.
  • Alcoholism is a disease. Never feel ashamed for getting help.


Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

2021 Special Enrollment Period Access Extended to August 15, 2021

On March 23, 2021, President Biden announced that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is extending access to the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) until August 15 – giving consumers additional time to take advantage of new savings through the American Rescue Plan. This action provides new and current enrollees an additional three months to enroll or re-evaluate their coverage needs with increased tax credits available to reduce premiums.

“Every American deserves access to quality, affordable health care – especially as we fight back against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Through this Special Enrollment Period, the Biden Administration is giving the American people the chance they need to find an affordable health care plan that works for them. The American Rescue Plan will bring costs down for millions of Americans, and I encourage consumers to visit and sign up for a plan before August 15.”

  • To read the HHS press release, visit: HHS Press Release
  • To view the extended opportunity SEP fact sheet, visit: Extended Opportunity 2021 SEP Fact Sheet
  • See the updated technical guidance on the SEP at: SEP Technical Guidance
  • For FAQs on the 2021 SEP and the American Rescue Plan visit: SEP and ARP FAQs


Maria Calderon

Marketplace Navigator

Community Health Net

Gov. Wolf and COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force Announce Plan to Vaccinate Teachers, Other School Staff

Wolf administration, national guard, and local IUs partnering to administer the J&J vaccine Classroom learning and nutritious meals are important, especially for our youngest students


As part of the priority to safely and quickly get more students back in the classroom, Governor Tom Wolf and the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force today announced that Pennsylvania will use the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) single-dose COVID-19 vaccine for PreK-12 teachers and other school staff.

The governor was joined by task force members Sen. Art Haywood, from the Senate Democratic Caucus, Rep. Bridget Kosierowski from the House Democratic Caucus, Sen. Ryan Aument from the Senate Republican Caucus, and Rep. Tim O’Neal from the House Republican Caucus.

“This new single-dose vaccine adds another layer of support to get students and teachers back in the classroom,” Gov. Wolf said. “Teachers and staff who work with our children will be vaccinated, and I commend the task force and all of our partners for their tremendous commitment to their schools and communities.”

Read more:

March is National Nutrition Awareness Month!

This month, all are encouraged to make informed food choices and develop sound eating habits they can follow all year.

Get the Facts.

Malnutrition occurs with too much or too little of certain nutrients. Undernutrition is a lack of vitamins, minerals, and other essential substances in their body.

Some signs and symptoms of malnutrition include:

  • a lack of appetite or interest in food or drink
  • tiredness and irritability, an inability to concentrate always feeling cold
  • loss of fat, muscle mass, and body tissue
  • a higher risk of getting sick
  • longer healing time for wounds

Take Action.

  • Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products are healthy choices.
  • Include a variety of protein foods such as seafood, lean meats, poultry, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, and eggs.
  • Choose fresh foods when possible or low-sodium packaged foods.
  • Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.
  • As you age, manage your calories to stay healthy.

What Does Healthy Eating Prevent?

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Some types of cancer
  • It can also help you feel your best and have plenty of energy.
  • It can help you handle stress better.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit for more information. Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

160 Vaccinated Against COVID-19 at Girard High School

Courtesy of Erie News Now / Lilly Broadcasting.

Community Health Net secured COVID-19 vaccines and administered shots to 160 teachers and the Girard School District’s support staff on Wednesday morning during a Girard High School vaccination clinic. The number also included patients of the Community Health Net’s Girard School-Based Health Center. They were part of Phase 1A in the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s vaccine distribution plan.  Erie News Now reported the story:

“A COVID-19 vaccination clinic took place Wednesday at Girard High School. About 80 teachers and support staff who are part of Phase 1A in the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s vaccine distribution plan received the vaccine Wednesday morning. The Girard School District has a longstanding partnership with Community Health Net, which secured the vaccines and administered the shots. In addition, approximately 80 Girard community members who are part of Phase 1A – and patients of Community Health Net – will receive the vaccine on Wednesday afternoon. All available appointments have been filled and walk-ins are not permitted. Event organizers say having a clinic in Girard will be more convenient for residents than having to drive to Erie to receive the vaccine.” ~ Erie News Now

Thank you, Erie News Now for your coverage of this important event.

To view the entire story:

Latest CDC Mask Requirements

The CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings, at events, gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people. Effective February 2, 2021, masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

Wear a Mask that

  • Has two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric.
  • Completely covers your nose and mouth.
  • Fits snugly against the sides of your face and doesn’t have gaps.
  • Has a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask.

Don’t Wear a Mask that

  • Are made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe, for example, vinyl.
  • Has exhalation valves or vents that allow virus particles to escape.
  • Are intended for healthcare workers, including N95 respirators.

How to Wear a Mask

  • Be sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before putting on a mask.
  • Do not touch the mask when wearing it. If you have to often touch/adjust your mask, it doesn’t fit you properly, and you may need to find a different mask or make adjustments.
  • Do NOT wear your mask on your forehead, around your neck, on your chin, under your nose, or only on your nose.
  • Scarves, ski masks, and balaclavas are not substitutes for masks.
  • Face shields are NOT recommended.

How to Clean your Mask

  • Reusable masks should be washed regularly. Always remove masks correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask.
  • Include your mask with your regular laundry.
  • Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask.
  • Use the highest heat setting and leave it in the dryer until completely dry.

Wear a mask to keep your community, family, and self safe! For more information about safe practices, go to

PACHC Comments on Expanded Eligibility; Existing Supply of COVID-19 Vaccine Statewide

Press Release

February 10, 2021

For more information, contact:
Amanda Tekely, Communications Manager
Phone: (717) 761-6443, ext. 205 /

PACHC Comments on Expanded Eligibility; Existing Supply of COVID-19 Vaccine Statewide

HARRISBURG – Cheri Rinehart, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers’ (PACHC) responds to the announcement of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to ensure that the nation’s hardest hit populations are receiving the vaccine by launching the first phase of the Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Program for COVID-19 Vaccination.

“We are excited that the Biden-Harris Administration recognizes the valuable role of FQHCs in providing primary care services, including vaccination, in underserved communities across Pennsylvania and across the country. Two-thirds of the population that FQHCs serve are living at or below the federal poverty line and 60% are racial and/or ethnic minorities, populations disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.”

“While we applaud the administration’s efforts, patience is still warranted because vaccine supply remains inadequate to meet eligibility and demand. According to the administration, the program to directly distribute vaccine to FQHCs will be slowly phased in, with limited supply. Initially, only 25 health centers across the country will receive direct distribution of vaccine, and none of these health centers is in Pennsylvania. The following several weeks, vaccine will be sent directly to 250 of the nation’s 1,400 FQHCs and we don’t yet know if that includes any Pennsylvania health centers.”

“Health centers across the Commonwealth are working diligently to meet the vaccination needs of their vaccine-eligible healthcare partners, patients, and community members, and are working to do so as quickly and as safely as possible within the constraints of current supply. Our goal is to help each health center meet the needs of the communities they serve.”

“As production and distribution ramp up, we look forward to offering vaccination to more eligible individuals and to continue doing our part to make Pennsylvania communities safer.”
“We urge anyone calling to inquire about scheduling for a COVID-19 vaccine to be patient as we all work to effectively manage the administration of vaccine. We are confident that the process will continue to improve as additional vaccine supply becomes available.”

The Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers (PACHC) is a statewide membership services organization representing Community Health Centers – the largest primary care network in Pennsylvania and the nation – rural health clinics and other safety net providers that care for more than 917,000 Pennsylvanians at over 330 delivery sites in rural and urban communities across the Commonwealth. Visit or call 1-(866) 944-CARE to find a Community Health Center near you.

Coronary Artery Disease – #HeartMonth

In observance of American Heart Month, Community Health Net wants you to be aware of good heart health!

Did you know?

Coronary artery disease is the most common heart disease type and is the number one killer of men and women in the United States.

What is it?

Coronary artery disease is caused by fat or plaque build up in your arteries; This can block your heart from getting the blood it needs to work well. It can cause shortness of breath or discomfort in your chest. Other symptoms are increased sweating, fast heartbeat, and feeling sick to your stomach.

What you can do.

  • Go to your family doctor and have regular check-ups!
  • Lifestyle changes are crucial to staying healthy.
  • Quit smoking, heavy drinking, and foods with high fat.
  • Eat healthy foods such as leafy greens, fruits, and foods with high-fiber.
  • Exercising regularly can help reduce heart problems and other health issues.

Talk to your doctor immediately if you:

  • Have a history of heart disease
  • Feel anything wrong with your heart
  • Are older than 65
  • Are a smoker
  • Have high cholesterol
  • Have high blood pressure or diabetes

February is American Heart Month

Heart disease is preventable with healthy choices, such as maintaining a healthy weight, getting moderate-intensity physical activity, and regular checkups.

Get The Facts.

  • Heart disease kills more people than all forms of cancer combined.
  • Heart attacks affect more people every year than the population of Dallas, Texas.
  • 83% believe that heart attacks can be prevented but aren’t motivated to do anything.
  • 72% of Americans don’t consider themselves at risk for heart disease.
  • And 58% put no effort into improving their heart health.

Take Action.

  • Quit Smoking. No matter how old you are, you will decrease your heart attack risk, stroke, and many other health problems.
  • Eat Healthy Foods. Eating healthy is one of the best things you can do to prevent and control many heart diseases.
  • Be Active. Improving your fitness is beneficial for your heart and blood vessels, as well as the rest of your body.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight. Staying at a healthy weight is also part of a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Heart Healthy Diet

  • Eat more fresh foods, like fruits and vegetables.
  • Buy plenty of spinach and broccoli.
  • Watch your sodium intake.
  • Eat whole grains likes oats, whole wheat pasta and bread, and brown rice.
  • Choose healthy fats like olive, sunflower, and canola oils.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

Call us at (814) 455-7222