Affordable Care Act insurance window closing Friday

Frederick Owens
December 15, 2017

Insurance companies have already said that without the mandate, they'll have to raise premiums and pass on other costs to people who do have health insurance.

In spite of all of Trump's sabotage efforts, Obamacare is working.

And the providers that have benefited from having more people with coverage-and who have improved their revenues and their profitability-they face the return, in a sense, to a time when they were seeing 10 to 20 percent of their patients without insurance.

"Using these folks that do this all day long, every day, will really help these people be able to get this coverage", Nancy Anness, chief advocacy officer for Saint Thomas Health, said.

The Affordable Care Act applies this same principle to health insurance. They're making decisions on what they need.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers healthcare.gov, then announced a special enrollment period giving Floridians extra time to buy insurance. They'll still have until December 31 to enroll, thanks to a special extension provided for enrollees impacted by this year's hurricanes.

Stephani Becker of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law in Chicago said the glitch in which consumers were told there were no plans was reported by counselors starting late last week, and again Monday.

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In Philadelphia, more than 220,000 people now have health insurance coverage through the ACA and Medicaid expansion.

As you mentioned, Florida is a state that did not expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act.

In fact, the financial help for those people is likely to be even more generous for 2018 because as premiums increase, so do government subsidies. Residents in that age bracket who earn up to $18,090 would not pay a premium for the silver plan, which offers the most popular, middle-of-the-road coverage.

Many people will also find Bronze plans to be much cheaper and in some cases free because their subsidy may be large enough to cover the entire premium.

Antoinette Kraus, director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, which provides help for consumers and will continue to be available until 11:59 p.m. Friday, said that her organization had enrolled more people statewide in November alone than during last year's entire three-month open enrollment season.

"Since the very beginning of the open enrollment period, HHS has done virtually nothing to promote enrollment and notify customers about this severe cut to open enrollment's timeline or the vast differences from the previous year's offerings", Murray and Wyden wrote.

During the Obama years, officials allowed a grace period for consumers who started an application, but were unable to finish by the deadline. Most states that run their own health insurance websites are providing an extended period for consumers to enroll.

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