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Many Unaware of ACA Enrollment

While the Affordable Care Act’s fifth open enrollment season is off to a surprisingly good start, many uninsured people said they weren’t even aware of it, according to a new survey.
November 21, 2017

While the Affordable Care Act’s fifth open enrollment season is off to a surprisingly good start, many uninsured people said they weren’t even aware of it, according to a new survey.

Nearly a third of people overall — including a third of people without health insurance — said they had not heard anything about the sign-up period for individuals who buy health plans on their own, according to the survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). Open enrollment started Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 15 in most states.

READ: Trump Administration Guiding Health Shoppers to Agents

Meanwhile, consumers who purchase individual health insurance through the ACA are being cautioned to scrutinize renewal notices from their insurers, to avoid erroneous “sticker shock.” Because insurers often have to send out renewal notices to their consumers before they know what next year’s federal tax credits will be, they estimate the new year’s monthly premiums based on the assumption that the consumer will receive the same amount of tax credits for premiums as they did the year before.

Because cost-sharing reduction payments were yanked just before the open enrollment period started, the move is causing big premium hikes, but the ACA shields most consumers from the impact by increasing the federal tax credits. The renewal notices landing in the mailboxes of millions of people around the country show the premium hikes, but many use last year’s lower subsidy amounts, making it appear as though the plans cost as much as several hundred dollars more per month than they really do. Here’s a fact sheet that explains all this.

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