Here’s a story that was lost beneath all the stories about elections and COVID-19; as of November 1st Pennsylvania Residents can begin applying for benefits under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, better known as its acronym LIHEAP. Benefits can be applied for over the internet using the COMPASS online tool which helps people apply for health and human services benefits or by contacting your local county assistance office or the LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095. November 1st also marked the beginning of the inaugural open enrollment period for Pennsylvania’s own healthcare marketplace PENNIE. PENNIE, replaces the national insurance exchange for an insurance marketplace specifically geared toward residents who live in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PENNIE enrollment runs for longer than the national exchange and has two cutoff dates, people seeking policies by the start of next year should pick a policy by December 15th, and the open enrollment period ends on January 15, 2021. Go online to PENNIE.com or call 1-844-844-8040.
Today could finally be the day when counting finishes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and preliminary election results can be recorded. Some mail in ballots can still trickle in until 5PM today, but the Pennsylvania Department of State reports only less than 164,000 received ballots to count and only 17 voting precincts left to report in. A federal judge denied a request by President Trump’s campaign to stop counting mail in ballots late yesterday afternoon and Joe Biden closed within 25,000 votes, making the election too close to call last night. The Pennsylvania General Assembly will likely remain in the control of the Republican party for the next two years and it seems Democrat Josh Shapiro will continue to serve as Attorney General. Republicans Timothy Defoor and Stacy Garrity are the most likely winners in the race for Auditor General and Treasurer.