Open Enrollment For ACA Ends This Friday!

by Julie Scagell
Image via @WOMENSMARCH / Twitter

The period to sign up for ACA this year was only 45 days

If you want to buy or change your individual or family health insurance plan through the ACA for 2018, this is the week to do so. The deadline for open enrollment is this Friday, December 15th.

Under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, you can sign up for health insurance on your state’s health insurance exchange or individual marketplace only during this annual open enrollment period, unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period through a life event like marriage, divorce, the birth of a baby or qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

To determine eligibility and get signed up, please visit the website. If you want to review the plans and pricing prior to signing up, you can do so here. It’s important to note that plans sold during Open Enrollment will not go into effect until January 1, 2018. You can also watch this instructional video on how to sign up.

It’s also important to point out the enrollment period is far shorter this year than in previous years, so eligible participants have only had since November 1st to sign up. In the past, participants have had almost three full months to review options and enroll. There are a few states that have extended their timelines, which you can review here, to see if your state may qualify for extended enrollment.

The Trump administration is spending 90 percent less on promotions and advertising (from $100 million to just $10 million) for open enrollment this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers Obamacare, said. It’s also cutting funding for “navigators” who help people get signed up for coverage by 41 percent. According to CNN, outreach from these navigators is considered most important in the last days before the enrollment period ends to remind consumers, especially younger people, as sign-ups tend to surge during the final days.

You must sign up under the Affordable Care Act if you don’t have health insurance from another source (i.e. your employer or your spouse’s employer), don’t have government coverage (such as Medicare and Medicaid), you are over age 26 and are no longer be on a parent’s health insurance, and if you qualify for tax credits to help you pay for health insurance coverage.

More than 20 million people are covered by the two major components of Barack Obama’s health care law — expanded Medicaid and subsidized private health insurance. It aims to reduce the number of people without health insurance and ensure everyone has access to decent coverage at a more affordable cost.

If you haven’t signed up yet, now is the time to do so.