Changes to open enrollment for health insurance

  • Changes to open enrollment for health insurance

Changes to open enrollment for health insurance

Because many ACA users have gone years without health insurance and lack familiarity with the subject, they could mistakenly conclude that their monthly premium payment is the sole cost of their health insurance.

"With the shorter enrollment period, that is certainly going to aversely affect enrollment because it is a shorter period of time, and people procrastinate doing things like enrolling", said Ben Raimer, senior vice president at UTMB. Those who are pregnant need to keep having health insurance that covers them.

The number of people who signed up for Obamacare plans more than doubled on the first day of enrollment compared with the prior year, according to a new report.

"If people shop and see the price, they'll sign up", said Peter Lee, Covered California's executive director, noting that 85% of consumers who get subsidies can find plans with lower premiums for 2018. One million Americans visited healthcare.gov, compared to 750,000 in 2016.

There is a bill in the state House of Representatives that could change that. The Hill adds that those early sign-up numbers are likely to reflect people re-upping their coverage, rather than new enrollees.

The Donald Trump administration cut the Obamacare outreach program by 90 percent.

Al Guevara, president of CEO of St. Luke's Health-Brazosport, said he also anticipates fewer people will have insurance because of the truncated enrollment period.

Adding to the confusion, insurers like Anthem Inc have sharply raised monthly premiums on the most popular Obamacare plans to account for reduced government funding, or pulled out of dozens of US counties. This leaves insurers, organizations and "navigators" with more responsibility to get the word out. The federal Department of Health and Human Services is also not spending as much on advertising open enrollment this year. The good news is that consumers who qualify for a tax credit won't be hit as hard, because their higher premiums will generally be absorbed by a higher tax credit.

That compares with only around 100,000 for the same day past year, according to TheHill.com, citing a source close to the enrollment process.

Lori Lodes, a co-founder of the group, said the effort by insurers focused on local markets could not match the impact of a national campaign. It's expensive to be poor, as they say. About 5.4 million people purchased off-exchange plans in 2017. It has hired 700 temporary employees to help with enrollment and is planning to take part in more than 1,000 enrollment events, such as county fairs or educational sessions, spokesman Paul Kluding said. Financial assistance, she said reassuringly, was still available.

Enrollment figures for the current year show the lure of the no-cost bronze plans.

"We chose to try to be as lean as possible", said Rick Notter, director of the individual business.