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Open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act begins

03 November 2017, 01:08 | Melanie Burgess

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Open Enrollment for Obamacare Starts Tomorrow. Here's What You Need to Know

The ACA enrollment period began Wednesday and will continue until December 15.

Open enrollment for individual plans on under the Affordable Care Act starts Wednesday.

Go to Healthcare.gov to find a link to your state's marketplace and review plans available in your area. There's also the deductible and co-insurance, which is the percentage of the bill a patient pays after the deductible is met.

"There are plans that might have a very low deductible with higher monthly premiums, and some might have very low monthly premiums with a bit higher deductible", Higgins said.

In all of Central Georgia, you'll only be able to choose from one provider - that's Blue Cross Blue Shield. Silver plans will have an average deductible of just over $4,000 next year.

"Insurer exits, higher-than-expected premium rate hikes, a series of repeal-and-replace votes, the cancelation of future federal cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies, an executive order on health care, and a recent discussion about a short-term bipartisan fix have all contributed to the uncertainty that has been brewing lately".

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Subsidies - which are still available to those who qualify - are only available through the state exchange, but you can buy a plan on the exchange even if you don't qualify for subsidies. "That's cheaper than a lot of cell phone plans". And for people seeking coverage in ACA marketplaces, now is the time to sign up.

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. It's because premium subsidies are soaring too, making many plans on the exchanges more affordable. That's six weeks earlier than last year's deadline. They say the closer it gets to the deadline, the more the websites that process the applications can get slowed down.

Carlyn Cowen, chief policy and public affairs officer for the Chinese American Planning Council, said information sessions are crucial because many of their members are afraid to sign up for ACA insurance due to their distrust of the government over immigration issues. But health officials recommend reviewing options before the automatic enrollment.

If you're planning to enroll in a marketplace Obamacare plan for 2018, be ready for a shorter sign-up period, higher premiums and other changes.

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.

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