Despite a shorter open enrollment period and the fact that President Donald Trump has said Obamacare is “dead,” area residents can still sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Tennessee Health Care Campaign board member Dr. Mary Headrick said that many people might be confused or wary about signing up because they’ve heard ACA coverage isn’t available or is too expensive.
“I am feeling rather frantic about the short enrollment period and misinformation to the public,” she said via email.
Area residents can sign up through Dec. 15.
The Affordable Care Act is still the law, although Republicans have tried repeatedly to repeal and replace it with an alternative plan.
Trump announced that his administration would stop funding cost-sharing subsidies for health insurers, which means the cost of individual health insurance plans will increase for many in 2018.
But Headrick said the reality is that there are plans available for most everyone in Hamilton County and that the plans are affordable because subsidies and cost-sharing reductions are still available.
BCBST spokeswoman Mary Danielson said that 88 percent of the company’s ACA enrollees get premium subsidies. About 65 percent get cost-sharing reduction subsidies.
“Cost-sharing reduction plans will still be available in 2018 to people with income between 100 percent and 250 percent of the federal poverty line, despite the administration’s decision to no longer reimburse issuers for these benefits,” Danielson said.
She also said that BCBST encourages people to visit Healthcare.gov to check out prices for plans in the area based on income. Residents can do this without creating an account.
U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, both from Tennessee, are working on a bipartisan stopgap measure, called the Alexander-Murray plan, in an effort to lower health care premiums.
This week, Alexander released this video discussing the plan.