Tick Tock!

clockTime is running out! And this has nothing to do with how many holiday shopping days are left this year. This is about open enrollment (Healthcare.gov) for 2018 health coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA)how you believe …..which ends tomorrow.

From AzCentral.com:

Arizonans who get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace have until Friday night to sign up for 2018 coverage.

The Trump administration halved this year’s “Obamacare” open-enrollment window, so consumers have only 45 days to sign up for a health-insurance plan. Previously, they had 90 days.

Arizonans have signed up for ACA health insurance at a faster pace this year, but some predict overall enrollment will fall short of last year’s because of the shorter enrollment period and cuts to federal funding for advertising and outreach workers who promote the law.

A total of 67,266 Arizonans signed up for a plan as of Dec. 2, according to figures from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

According to Cronkite News/Arizona PBS, “Advocates are urging Arizona consumers to “window shop” for insurance plans that may be cheaper than they expected or, in some cases, essentially free. “People don’t know about the discounts until they try,” said Allen Gjersvig, director of navigator and enrollment for the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers. “We need to combat the idea that, ‘It’s unaffordable to me.’”

Tucson.com added:

The majority of Marketplace customers in Arizona qualify for financial help. Tax credits are available for most Arizonans with low to moderate incomes. For example, individuals earning up to about $48,000/year and families of four earning up to $98,000/year are eligible for financial help.

About 100,000 Arizonans qualify for a free Marketplace plan. Arizonans in Maricopa and Pima County could find plans for less than $3 per month, and those in other counties could find a plan for free! Qualifications are based on age, income and location, so it’s important to shop for a plan that’s right for you and your family.

While rates for some Arizonans did climb this year, some published reports point out those increases may not have reached the 116% mark as originally feared. So, if you’ve been putting it off, but now you realize you could use some last minute help to figure out coverage for next year, visit CoverAz.org.

And we’d love for you to take a minute to share your thoughts on open enrollment, the ACA, or whether you believe the shorter sign-up period will affect the people of our state. Generating thoughtful conversations around the health stories making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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