Obamacare Enrollment Opens, With Costs Generally Lower

During oral arguments on Tuesday, two conservative justices seemed to indicate support for the act, but the outcome of the suit is uncertain. The court isn’t expected to announce a decision until the middle of next year.

“We don’t know what will happen,” said Cynthia Cox, director of the Kaiser foundation’s Program on the A.C.A. But there’s no reason not to enroll if you need health insurance. If you sign up for coverage and plan subsidies are then eliminated, there’s no risk, she said, that you would have to continue paying premiums if you can’t afford them.

“You might as well have coverage while you can,” Ms. Cox said, especially given the risk of illness from the coronavirus. At the very least, plans compliant with the law have caps on out-of-pocket costs, limiting what patients must pay for a stay in the hospital. There is no guarantee that hospitals will waive the cost of treatment for uninsured patients with Covid-19, meaning people without coverage could face large medical bills.

Open enrollment on HealthCare.gov continues through Dec. 15 for coverage that begins on Jan. 1. (Some state marketplaces allow enrollment for much longer periods.) People affected by wildfires, hurricanes or other disasters may qualify for more time.

If you miss the open-enrollment deadline, you’ll have to wait a year to enroll unless you have a qualifying change in circumstances, like losing your health coverage, getting married or having a baby.

Here are a few things to know about open enrollment for Obamacare plans.

Where can I get help choosing a plan?

Enrollment help is available, but may be hard to come by in some areas, according to the Kaiser foundation, because federal funding for trained, independent “navigators” is limited. For federal marketplace plans, you can use the “find local help” tool, or call 1-800-318-2596.

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