Open Enrollment Begins for State's Health Insurance Marketplace Wednesday

Editorial: Help getting health care

Sign-up gets underway today for the Delaware's Health Insurance Marketplace.

The sign up window runs from November 1 to December 15.

Open enrollment for Obamacare is here ... and former President Obama wants to make sure Americans know about it.

In Ohio, the largest state navigator group shuttered its program after losing almost 88 percent of its funding, dropping from $1.7 million to $486,000.

El Rio will call all of those who have signed up for the ACA in the past, to remind them, they must do it again within the six week window.

The increase in premiums will be felt most by the 15 percent of the exchange population that is not eligible for APTCs.

Earlier this year, Aetna announced it would not sell plans on Delaware's Health Insurance Marketplace for 2018.

"Pacific Source has raised their rates by an average of 13 percent, the Montana Health Co-op has raised their rates by 16 percent, and Blue Cross Blue Shield has raised their rates by an average of 23 percent", he said.




"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. Accordingly, most insurers set premiums for 2018 as if CSRs would not be available, hence the large increases. But she adds, "the health care exchange is alive and well".

As a result, subsidized customers might see better deals than in previous years, such as upmarket gold plans that cost less than mid-tier ones.

The estimate from S&P concludes that enrollment next year could be seven to 13 percent lower than the 12.2 million people who signed up in 2017.

At the state level, many regulators were able to load insurers' price hikes onto their second-lowest cost silver plans, which determine the amount of subsidy someone gets relative to income.

Consumers who already have "Obamacare" are anxious. Seventy-eight percent of PA's enrollees received financial assistance to offset the costs.

But people who don't qualify for subsidies will pay the full price of the increases, which could cause some to decide to go without coverage this year. For 2017, the maximum penalty will not exceed $2,085 per household.

Since the marketplace was added and eligibility for Medicaid was broadened under the Affordable Care Act, Delaware's uninsured population decreased from 10 percent in 2008 to 5.7 percent in 2016, according to a recent Census Bureau report. Their costs, however, are generally tied to rising "Obamacare" rates.

The Trump administration has taken numerous steps to undermine the law, and many states are doing little to promote coverage as health insurance open enrollment begins this week.

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