Short-term plans and no penalty highlight Obamacare sign-up period
Wider availability of short-term plans and the elimination of the penalty are two big changes that have set this year’s apart from past sign-up periods.
Source: Kaiser Health News / NBC News
The annual open-enrollment period for people who buy their own insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces ends Dec. 15 in most states. Enrollment in states that use the federal healthcare.gov platform has been sluggish this year compared to last. From Nov. 1 through Dec. 1, about 3.2 million people had chosen plans for 2019. Compared with the previous year, that’s about 400,000 fewer, or a drop of just over 11 percent.
The wider availability of short-term plans is one big change that has set this year’s apart from past sign-up periods.
Another is the elimination of the penalty for not having health insurance starting next year. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that as many as 3 million people who buy their own coverage may give it up when they don’t face a tax penalty. But experts who have studied health insurance enrollment say that surveys so far indicate that the penalty hasn’t typically been the pivotal factor in people’s decision on whether to buy insurance.
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Walt Bernard Podgurski, Editor, 440-773-1108,