MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Obamacare open enrollment begins Tuesday, November 1st with some consumers bracing for sharp increases in premiums and others set to go with different insurers, and in many cases, different doctors.
The challenges facing the Affordable Care Act come amid a need for increased enrollment.
The biggest need is enrollment by young, healthy consumers to offset the sicker population.
Major insurers including Aetna, United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Humana opted to leave many states.
Regulators responded by allowing companies to re-file rate requests.
The result was rates in eight states that were frequently much higher than initially proposed.
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell argues that the problems are fixable.
She points to Obamacare’s successes: 20 million people have health insurance today who didn’t before the law was passed. The uninsured rate is now the lowest ever.
To improve the market, and lure back insurers, the administration hopes to enroll nearly 14 million more people. They’re aggressively targeting millennials.
Burwell told CBS News most Americans can get a plan for $75 or less a month, especially if they’re low income.
They’ve launched a social media campaign to target community college students, recent immigrants and freelancers.
Here are some basic facts regarding enrollment:
- Healthcare.gov is for people without health care coverage.
- Open enrollment runs from November 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017
- You must enroll by December 15, 2016, to receive coverage starting January 1, 2017
- After January 31, 2017, you can only enroll if you qualify for a special enrollment period
- The amount you pay depends on your income
- According to Healthcare.gov, eight in ten households that apply are eligible for savings
- If you choose not to enroll, you will have to pay a fee of 2.5 percent of your income, or $695 per adult ($347.50 per child) — whichever is higher.
- Silver Plans, with a higher monthly premium than a bronze plan, are eligible for a cost sharing reduction which lower your deductible. CSRs are only available with Silver plans.
You can get personalized help and advice at no extra cost at websites like www.Ehealth.com (844-229-4337) and www.gohealth.com (888-322-7557). Each site has a calculator to help you compare costs and features. And you can actually buy an Obamacare plan through them at no additional cost.