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Time Running Out for ACA Enrollment

Consumers can enroll or change coverage online. (StartupStockPhotos/Pixabay)
Consumers can enroll or change coverage online. (StartupStockPhotos/Pixabay)
December 14, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Friday is the last day of open enrollment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act for 2018, a deadline even those with insurance should heed.

The open enrollment window was cut in half this year and the federal budget for advertising it was slashed by 90 percent.

But Scott Mulhauser, a board member with the Consumers for Quality Care, points out that despite efforts to repeal the program, it's still working, and it's important for everyone who needs insurance and those already in the marketplace to look at what's available.

"Even if you plan to keep the same policy, if you're looking for a new one, plans and policies are constantly changing, and this is the crucial moment to take note of what best serves your needs," he states.

To enroll or change your plan you can go to www.healthcare.gov.

With all the negative comments in the news about skyrocketing premium costs, some people may believe marketplace insurance is now simply unaffordable.

Mulhauser acknowledges that costs have gone up.

"But subsidies are going up in a lot of states, too,” he stresses. “And so what that means is you may still be able to find a good deal, but you can only take a look in these final days."

Navigators are available to help consumers pick the right plan.

Mulhauser adds that some policies may change their prescription plans, their co-pay or co-insurance requirements.

So getting that help can be critical because the changes can be confusing.

"It leads to coverage denials,” he points out. “It leads to increased costs. So for Americans shopping on healthcare.gov or in state marketplaces, they are open for business, but it's a shorter enrollment this year. And so it's important to shop around and pick the plan for you."


Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA