courtesy of kffhealthnews.org
Time to Shop Around
Open enrollment for plans on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange, also known as Obamacare, began on November 1 and will last until December 15 in most states. While some states have longer enrollment periods, consumers are encouraged to shop around due to expected premium increases. By switching plans, they may be able to save money thanks to enhanced subsidies and cost-sharing assistance.
Ohio Becomes Election-Year Battleground State
Ohio is once again a battleground state in this year's elections. A ballot issue that aims to provide constitutional protection to reproductive health decisions has become a point of contention, with misinformation and message testing being used by both sides.
What the Health? Panelists Discuss Current Health Policy Issues
During this week's episode of "What the Health?", panelists Mary Agnes Carey of KFF Health News, Jessie Hellmann of CQ Roll Call, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, and Rachana Pradhan of KFF Health News discuss various health policy stories and offer their insights.
What Consumers Can Expect During Open Enrollment
Consumers who are interested in enrolling in an ACA plan for coverage starting on January 1 should sign up now. The open enrollment period for ACA plans on the federal exchange began on November 1 and will last until December 15. However, some state-based exchanges have longer enrollment periods. Consumers have various options for researching coverage options, including going online, calling an 800 number, or seeking help from insurance brokers and ACA navigators. It is important for consumers to review their options, as there may be different deals available and premiums may be more affordable due to enhanced subsidies and cost-sharing assistance.
Medicaid Disenrollment and ACA Eligibility
This year, a wrinkle in the open enrollment period is the Medicaid disenrollment. Approximately 10 million people have been disenrolled from Medicaid, but many of them may be eligible for heavily subsidized ACA plans. However, reaching and communicating with this population has been challenging. It is important for individuals who are no longer eligible for Medicaid to check if they qualify for ACA plans.
Low Enrollment Rates for People Transferred from Medicaid to ACA Plans
Although state Medicaid agencies are supposed to automatically transfer applications of individuals who may qualify for ACA plans, the data shows low enrollment rates for these transferred individuals. It remains to be seen if these rates will improve in the coming months.
Provider Networks and Trends
There is currently no available data on the size of provider networks for ACA plans. However, there is a trend of doctors and hospitals reducing their participation in insurance networks. This trend has been ongoing for multiple years and may impact the availability of in-network providers for ACA plans. The Biden administration has implemented rules to address this issue, but narrow networks may still be a concern for some plans.