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Exchange Assisters in Pennsylvania

Exchange Assisters, also known as Pennie–Certified Exchange Assisters, help individuals obtain quality health insurance through the state-based health & dental insurance marketplace, Pennie™.

What is an Exchange Assister?

In Pennsylvania, an Exchange Assister is an individual or organization [also known as a Navigator, Certified Application Counselor (CAC), CAC Designated Organization (CDO), or Pennie-Certified Exchange Assister] who provides public education or assists customers for free on behalf of Pennsylvania’s state-based exchange, known as Pennie™. All individual Exchange Assisters must be registered with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department (Department) and certified by Pennie™. The term “Exchange Assister” does not include a licensed insurance producer. This term also does not include an individual employed to provide insurance enrollment or coverage assistance by a health care facility as defined in section 103 of the act of July 19, 1979 (P.L.130, No.48), known as the Health Care Facilities Act.

**Please note that according to Pennsylvania law, Exchange Assisters are registered with the state and not licensed. Pennie-Certified Exchange Assisters may help customers with the health & dental insurance marketplace (Pennie™) but may not sell, solicit, or negotiate insurance contracts.

What is a Certified Application Counselor (CAC)?

A CAC is an individual staff member or volunteer who is certified by a CAC Designated Organization (CDO) and who is trained and able to help customers as they look for health coverage options through Pennie™, including helping them complete the eligibility and enrollment process. CACs are one type of Pennie-Certified Exchange Assister. 

To learn more about Pennie-Certified Exchange Assisters, CACs, and outreach partners, visit the Pennie Assister home page.

Do Exchange Assisters, Including CACs, Receive Training?

Yes. Exchange Assisters, including CACs, do receive training. All individual exchange assisters must be registered with the Department and certified by Pennie™. 

Pennie-Certified Exchange Assisters must: 

  1. Complete training that has been approved by and offered through Pennie™. 
  2. Achieve a passing score on all Pennie-approved certification examinations. 
  3. Complete continuing education and be certified and/or recertified on at least an annual basis. 
  4. Meet any licensing, certification, or other standards prescribed by the Commonwealth, if applicable, so long as such standards do not prevent the application of the provisions of title I of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

CACs, a different type of Pennie-Certified Exchange Assister with different training requirements, must: 

  1. Successfully complete training that has been approved and is offered through Pennie™. 
  2. Achieve a passing score on all Pennie-approved certification examinations.
  3. Obtain certification from their CDO after successfully completing Pennie-approved CAC training. 
  4.   Meet any licensing, certification, or other standards prescribed by the Commonwealth, if applicable, so long as such standards do not prevent the application of the provisions of title I of the ACA. 

Visit the Pennie Assister home page to learn more about the necessary Pennie-approved training for Exchange Assisters and CACs.

Who is Required to be Registered in PA?

Any individual or organization who provides public education or assists customers for or on behalf of Pennie™ must be registered with the Department as an Exchange Assister. A Pennie-Certified Exchange Assister is not a licensed insurance producer or employed to provide insurance enrollment or coverage assistance by a “health care facility.”  

To learn more about becoming registered as a Pennie-Certified Exchange Assister, visit the Pennie Assister home page.

How Do I Apply to be Registered?

Before you apply, please read How to Apply.

If you are ready to apply, visit the License Application tool.

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