Friday, 18 January, 2019

On eve of ACA deadline, fewer Iowans enrolled compared to previous year

The Deadline to Sign Up for Obamacare Is Tomorrow. Here's What's New and Why You Should Start Today On eve of ACA deadline, fewer Iowans enrolled compared to last year
Melissa Porter | 15 December, 2018, 19:29

Morning Shift discusses what people need to know if they still plan to sign up and why fewer people in IL are taking advantage of the program so far this year.

Sean Sheehan, the deputy director of the Department of Vermont Health Access, said long wait times on the phone are likely ahead of the December 15 deadline, so he encourages residents to sign up on the Vermont Health Connect website. They claimed that when Congress repealed the tax penalty previous year, it eliminated the US Supreme Court's rationale for finding the ACA constitutional in 2012. Pacific time in states served by the HealthCare.gov website.

Disappointing sign-ups will add to the long-running political blame game over health care.

Trying to encourage enrollment, former President Barack Obama posted a whimsical video on social media Monday encouraging young adults to sign up for his signature program.

Between November 1, when open enrollment began, and December 1, more than 55,000 Arizona consumers had selected a plan on HealthCare.gov.

The deadline to purchase health insurance on the open Health Insurance Marketplace is Saturday, Dec. 15, for coverage beginning January 1. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar also posted his own straightforward video pitch on Twitter.

This is the first open enrollment since the federal government got rid of the fee for not having insurance.

Connecticut's exchange, however, is run by the state. Administration officials say they are focused on providing a smooth sign-up experience for consumers who want coverage.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found many people who are eligible to get plans on the federal exchange are unaware of the enrollment dates.

For people who don't have insurance through their employers - or for people who do have that coverage but find the monthly costs too high - the state insurance marketplace might offer a more affordable option, Gonzalez said. But such plans may appeal to healthy people looking for a measure of financial protection against an unexpected illness.

IMMIGRATION FEARS Organizations working to enroll low-income workers report heightened concerns among immigrants that applying for health insurance could have negative consequences due to the administration's crackdown on illegal immigration. Only legal immigrants and citizens can get coverage through HealthCare.gov, but that hasn't calmed the fears. Available every day, except certain holidays. "We've really worked to make sure that the website and the toll-free numbers aren't going to have those wait times".

Health care analysts have said the drop may have resulted from the move past year by congressional Republicans to eliminate the ACA's federal income tax penalty. Some 10 million are still enrolled.

CMS has sent over 600 million emails and text messages to consumers to remind them of the 2019 Open Enrollment Period and the upcoming deadline.

"I probably touched base with five clients this morning", Gonzalez said just after noon on Friday, "and I'll probably have at least five more today".

But boosting sign-ups "was not a priority" for the Trump administration, said Ferguson, now a consultant. About a third said it should be expanded.