Outages ahead for Pa Health and Human Services System due to Affordable Care Act upgrades

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Pennsylvania’s health and human services online system, COMPASS, will be temporarily unavailable for several periods of time beginning 8 a.m., Saturday, September 28 through 8 a.m., Monday, September 30, 2013.

The temporary outage is one of several system upgrades across multiple service channels that Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare is undertaking, working closely with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The changes are necessary to manage requirements for determining eligibility and to align with the federal health insurance exchange as part of the federal Affordable Care Act.

Any applications that were started in the COMPASS system prior to 11 p.m. on September 28, but not completed, will be purged and applicants will be required to start the application process over.

In addition, the local county assistance offices will be unable to process applications into the system beginning 8 a.m., Monday, September 30 until 8 a.m., October 1, 2013.

Clients in need of emergency food stamps (SNAP) benefits during the system upgrades are encouraged to stop by the local county assistance office Monday through Friday to complete a paper application.

The COMPASS system is an online resource for applying and renewing benefits such as Medical Assistance, CHIP, Food Stamps (SNAP), Cash Assistance, LIHEAP, Long- Term Care services, School Lunch program, Child Care Works and Home and Community-based services.

Applicants with questions are encouraged to call 1-800-692-7462.