Obamacare Trump seeks to dismantle sets record in enrollment

Ebony Scott
November 8, 2017

There is free insurance counseling at JABA for those who have questions surrounding their ACA plans.

Many in need of health insurance coverage in the United States may not know that now is the time to enroll.

Lori Lodes, who had been communications director at CMS during the Obama administration, told CNBC, "The great start to open enrollment proves just how much people value health coverage and that people are finding coverage they can afford". He said he'd paid $825 a month for a Kaiser Permanente marketplace plan, but the premium jumped to $1,084 and will now cost $1,397 next year. This leaves a pool of insured with a higher percentage of older, sicker participants, which drives up costs for all participants. Less than four in 10 Americans are "very confident" that they can select the health insurance plan that's right for them.

"I don't think I anticipated quite how intentionally the administration would undermine the law", said Jessica Altman, the state's acting insurance commissioner.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, the sole Obamacare insurer in most of North Dakota, increased online advertising for 2018, while traditional TV and radio advertising remained about flat, spokeswoman Andrea Dinneen said.

The elimination of the cost sharing reduction subsidy left insurers on the hook for millions of dollars of discounts they are required to provide to low-income customers under the ACA.

Altman, of the state Insurance Department, said she'd fielded calls from people concerned about skyrocketing premiums, or losing their financial assistance.

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If you enrolled past year, there may be better options this time around. They're often able to find better deals than consumers would have found on their own.

These professionals play a pivotal role in helping people sign up for coverage. The 11 states that run their own exchanges, like California and NY, set their own advertising budgets.

This administration's sabotage attempts include slashing the Affordable Care Act's outreach and advertising budgets ahead of open enrollment - outreach and advertising which provide key information and resources for those who need to sign up for care - and cutting back on how long the exchanges are open. The enrollment period will be far shorter than past year, will ending December 15. Those include a shorter enrollment window that lasts until December 15, and deep cuts in advertising and consumer assistance.

"I still run into people who are wondering, am I still going to have a plan next year?"

By helping people sign up for either exchange or off-exchange plans, brokers and agents can ensure a larger, more representative pool of enrollees.

Most seniors worry that health care costs will get in the way of retirement.

Janet Trautwein is the CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters.

Other reports by GizPress

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