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Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Deadline to Purchase or Renew Health Insurance

ACA Open EnrollmentI want to remind everyone that open enrollment on the health insurance marketplace at www.healthcare.gov, created through the Affordable Care Act, closes this Sunday, Dec. 15.

ACA health insurance helps you pay for the things you need to get healthy and stay healthy.  Coverage includes visits to doctors and other provides, prescription drugs, and care during an illness.  Any ACA plan you purchase also covers some or all of the cost of the following: hospital care; emergency care; mental health and substance abuse treatment; wellness services; dental and vision care for children under 18; care throughout pregnancy; basic laboratory services; pediatric care; birth control; and rehabilitative and habilitative services such as physical therapy.

Most insurance plans must cover certain preventive services without any cost to you, such as vaccines, pap smears, mammograms and blood pressure screenings, even if you haven’t met your yearly deductible. 

While all ACA plans will cover these services, each plan will vary in the level of coverage and cost to you.

Anyone looking to purchase health insurance on the marketplace for the first time or wanting to renew their coverage can get started at www.healthcare.gov. Simply visit the site and select whether you’re applying for the first time or wanting to renew coverage.  On the site, you can also search for local assistance by entering your address or zip code to generate a listing of nearby navigators and assistors.

If you don’t have access to a computer or need assistance, please call 1-800-318-2596 to get assistance.

The PA Insurance Department is another resource that can assist with the purchasing of health insurance. 

Visit www.insurance.pa.gov to view the Department’s “How to Buy Health Insurance” guide. On the site, select “Coverage” under the “Health” tab. You can also contact them at 1-877-881-6388.

Did You Know…

Did you know that during last year’s open enrollment, 365,888 Pennsylvanians enrolled in a healthcare plan through the Affordable Care Act marketplace?

Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Program

Veterans’ Trust FundI want to remind everyone the PA Department of Military & Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is accepting applications for the 2019-20 Veterans’ Trust Fund grant cycle.

Total funding of $650,000 is available for grants of up to $50,000 for veterans’ service organizations with a 501(c)(19) status and non-profits with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans granted 501(c)(3) status.  Funding in the amount of $150,000 is available for eligible counties, a maximum award of $20,000, and State Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs may receive up to the maximum of $150,000.

Grants will be announced in March 2020 and applicants should base proposals on projects beginning on June 1, 2020, or the date the grant agreement is signed by all parties, whichever date is later.  Expenses incurred prior to June 1, 2020 are not payable or reimbursable with funds from this grant.

Applications and grant guidelines can be downloaded at www.dmva.pa.gov. Applications must be received either by hard copy or electronically by 3 p.m. on Dec. 18.  It is preferred that applications are submitted via email to RA_MVVetTrustFund@pa.gov. Paper copies can be delivered to:

Department of Military & Veterans Affairs
Office of Administration, Bureau of Budget and Finance
ATTN: Division of Grants
Edward Martin Hall, Bldg. 0-47, Fort Indiantown Gap
Annville, PA 17003-5002

New Senior Citizen ConnectCards

Senior Citizen ConnectCardsThe Port Authority of Allegheny County continues to issue new Senior Citizen ConnectCards and my office can assist. The new cards will replace the current blue or yellow PA Senior Transit ID cards and will have a photo of the cardholder on the card. These new cards will enable the user to ride Port Authority and other public transit vehicles for free across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Both my Brookline and Kennedy Township offices are equipped to help seniors get their new cards. Simply visit either office and bring with you ONE valid document that shows proof-of-age.  This includes a driver’s license or state-issued photo ID card, birth certificate, PACE ID card, or passport to name a few. My staff will enter your information into Port Authority’s system and upload your photo and a copy of your proof-of-age document. 

Upon receiving the information from my office, the Port Authority will produce a new Senior Citizen ConnectCard and then mail the card to my office where you can return to pick up the card. New cards should take a couple weeks to arrive at my office from the time Port Authority receives the information. When you return to get your new card, please bring with you your current senior bus pass so we can exchange it for your new ConnectCard.

Anyone age 65 or over is eligible to receive this new card and ride Port Authority and other public transit vehicles for free.

SEA Job Opening

Sports & Exhibition AuthorityThe Sports & Exhibition Authority (SEA) is seeking a project accountant. This position reports directly to the Controller and accepts assignments from the Chief Financial Officer. Candidates should have one year of full-time experience in general ledger accounting which includes: preparing financial statements; monitoring budgets; payroll; and purchasing and fixed assets.  A bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Business Administration or a related field is also required.

Interested applicants can send a resume and cover letter via email to rcasciato@pgh-sea.com or mail to:

Sports & Exhibition Authority
171 Tenth Street, 2nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

Property TaxI want to remind everyone the deadline to submit an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for the 2018 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is Dec. 31, 2019.  Applications are available at my district offices, online at www.revenue.pa.gov or by calling 1-888-222-9190.  As always, my staff would be happy to assist you in preparing your application.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older.  The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters.  Please keep in mind, half of Social Security income is excluded.

Governor’s Residence Holiday Tours

Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf announced recently the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence will be open for public tours Monday-Friday through Dec. 20 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Holiday tours are self-guided and reservations are not required.

Volunteers from across the commonwealth who contributed to the 2019 holiday decorations at the Governor’s Residence include the following:

  • Grand Hall and Grand Hall Reception Room: Designed and decorated by Governor’s Residence staff featuring Santa figures handmade by First Lady Frances Wolf and central PA artists Polly Stetler, Pat Sweetman, Nancy Kaboli, Elaine Lovelace, Claire Stoner, Janet Murphy, Joanne Balliet, Ophelia Chambliss, Catalina Ruiz, Susan Craver and Suzon Stauffer.
  • Mellon Parlor: Designed and decorated by Angel’s Secret Flowers in Monongahela, PA.
  • Family Dining Room: Designed and decorated by Floral Designs of Forty-Fort, PA.
  • Erie Room: Designed and decorated by Graphitti Creations of Erie, PA.
  • First Lady’s Office: Designed and decorated by Governor’s Residence Staff.
  • Governor’s Office: Designed and decorated by members of the Governor’s Pennsylvania State Police Security Detail.
  • State Entrance: Designed and decorated by First Lady Frances Wolf and members of the Wolf family.
  • State Reception Room: Ornaments for the trees were made by students from York Country Day School in York, PA and a model train display was created by the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

In addition, the wreaths that are hung on the front doors of the Governor’s Residence were donated by Gary Hague, who won this year’s Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association (PCTGA) wreath competition. Gary has been a Christmas tree grower since 1973 and has operated a retail business in Hatfield, Pennsylvania since 1985. Hague’s Christmas Trees sells fresh-cut and choose-and-cut trees, makes their own wreaths and grows winterberry for retail and wholesale sale.

For more information on touring the Governor’s Residence, please call the tour line at 717-772-9130.

Allegheny County Holiday Music Program

Holiday ProjectThe 52nd annual Allegheny County Holiday Music Program runs through Thursday, Dec. 19 at the County Courthouse, located at 436 Grant Street. All concerts are held on the Grand Staircase. Performances are being held each weekday until Dec. 19.  A total of 27 local choirs, orchestras and bands are participating in this year’s program.

Participating schools are asked to consider making donations of filled stockings or an unwrapped gift to The Holiday Project, a program that has provided holiday gifts to children and youth who receive services through the county’s human services system since the late 1960’s. Concert-goers are also invited to participate in the program. More information about The Holiday Project, including suggested gifts, is available at https://www.alleghenycounty.us/Human-Services/News-Events/Events/Holiday-Project.aspx.

Fontana Fact

It was on this date in 1920 that President Woodrow Wilson was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for his work in ending the First World War and creating the League of Nations.

Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Brookline District
1039 Brookline Boulevard
Suite 2
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Phone: 412-344-2551
Weekdays – 9 am – 5 pm
Harrisburg
543 Main Capitol | Box 203042
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: 717-787-5300
Fax: 717-772-5484
Weekdays – 8:30 am – 5 pm
Kennedy Township
Kenmawr Plaza
524 Pine Hollow Road
Kennedy Twp, PA 15136
Phone: 412-331-1208
Weekdays – 10 am – 4 pm
Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – First Tuesday of each month or by appointment