ACA open enrollment underway

Violet Tucker
November 3, 2017

There are multiple ways to find out more about the plans.

One of the most important things to know about signing up for coverage for 2018 through the Affordable Care Act is the dates of open enrollment.

But with Obamacare open enrollment starting on Wednesday and President Donald Trump trashing the law, Obama returned to a familiar role: insurance pitchman.

CT has been better insulated than other states from other changes at the federal level, including cuts to the marketing budget and planned outages for HealthCare.gov, the exchange used by states that didn't create their own. In the Lehigh Valley, you could pay nothing but co-pays or deductibles for some low-priced bronze plans.

Income-based tax credits are calculated based on the cost of silver plans, so those credits are expected to climb, and that will funnel more help to people, especially those with lower incomes.

With insurers exiting the market, about half of counties will only have one participating carrier offering plans. Silver plans will have an average deductible of just over $4,000 next year. "Regardless of what decisions are ultimately reached by government leaders, our community and our nation benefit by continuing this progress in making health care more accessible". Accordingly, most insurers set premiums for 2018 as if CSRs would not be available, hence the large increases.

Prices hikes are more mild for gold and bronze plans.

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Nearly every state will feel the spikes at a time when enticing consumers to sign up for coverage has never been harder.

Despite political disagreements over enforcing the ACA's requirement to purchase insurance, the Internal Revenue Service announced last week that the agency will continue to penalize the uninsured, unless they've obtained an exemption from the law. If you don't get insurance through your workplace, you are still required to get insurance or pay a penalty. Marketplace plans are labeled bronze, silver, gold or platinum, with platinum plans being the most generous and generally charging the highest premiums. That's six weeks earlier than last year's deadline.

Those customers should check for options outside the marketplaces, where people can still buy insurance but without tax credit help.

Schwartz said that applicants are most hindered by a lack of guidance and information on the ACA enrollment process, but the city and state's plans should help address that.

However, local health officials say they may have their work cut out for them.

Navigators from both organizations will be available to help the public at an enrollment event at Sacred Heart Hospital, 421 Chew St., from 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. November 11.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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