If you’re a fan of window shopping, get your computer fingers ready! Although sign-ups for 2018 health plans won’t begin until November 1st…..you can head online to preview plans and premiums starting today.
Officials at the Health and Human Services department said Wednesday that plans and premiums for the coming year were posted on HealthCare.gov. Starting next week, new customers can begin submitting applications, and returning ones can make changes to their coverage. Open enrollment will end early, on Dec. 15, about half the time allotted under Barack Obama’s administration.
The Trump administration’s launch comes after the president abruptly pulled the plug on federal payments that reimburse insurers for reduced copays and deductibles they’re required to provide to people of modest means. That exposes insurers to a potential $1 billion loss for the remainder of this year, and state regulators have been approving premium increases for next year to compensate.
According to PBS.org, “Although President Donald Trump has made no secret of his disdain for the program, officials at the federal Health and Human Services department say the goal is for consumers to have a smooth sign-up experience. About 10 million people currently have private coverage through government-sponsored markets like HealthCare.gov. More than 8 in 10 customers receive tax credits to help pay their premiums, and that aid is still available despite the political turmoil over “Obamacare.”
TheHill.com added that the Trump Administration is not planning to set a sign-up goal for 2018.
The Trump administration does not plan to release projections for how many people will sign up for ObamaCare, breaking from past years.
The Obama administration used to release a projection for enrollment, which then served as a target goal for the yearly push. But the Trump administration will not be following suit, a Department of Health and Human Services official told The Hill on Wednesday.
Still, the official said the administration does want the coming enrollment period, which runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, to run well. Asked if the administration wants the sign-up period to go smoothly, the official said “absolutely.”
As for the future of the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act, sponsored by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, Senator Alexander told CNN, “it’s time for the Trump administration to decide the next steps.”
“The White House has the ball,” Alexander said, adding, “We’ve made our recommendations, (ranking health committee Democrat Sen. Patty) Murray and I, 24 senators. I think it’s up to the White House to take the suggestions, work with Senate and House leaders, and come up, and decide, what the President would like to do.”
Share your thoughts on how you believe sign-ups will go this year and what it means for the people of Arizona. Driving conversations around the health issues affecting Arizonans is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!