Opens Early for Consumers to View Plans


On November 9th, the Obama administration announced that consumers are able to compare health insurance plans on before the open enrollment period formally begins on November 15th.

The new will be easier to use and with more information available. Consumers can now sort plans by the amount of the premium, the size of the deductible, and special programs for specific conditions (such as diabetes or depression). Consumers can also get an estimate of how much financial assistance they would receive for a particular plan.

The government is strongly encouraging re-enrollment, and says that it will have 14,000 customer service representatives available to answer questions. Nonetheless, officials believe the second enrollment period may be more difficult than the first because it is open 3 months instead of 6. Furthermore, it may be harder to convince people that are still uninsured to buy insurance, since they didn’t enroll the first time (the majority due to the fact that they think they can’t afford insurance).

Usually low-income people can get federal subsidies to assist with the cost of insurance, but on November 7th, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a new challenge to the Affordable Care Act on the government’s authority to pay subsidies in 36 states that use federal exchange. People in those states could become ineligible for assistance, perhaps ruining the law. More than 4 million people have been receiving the subsidies that reduced the average monthly premium from $346 to $82.

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