If you don’t have health care, this week marked the beginning of the open enrollment period on Healthcare.gov. If you plan to get care on the Healthcare.gov exchanges, you only have until Dec. 15 to find coverage.
That’s because the Trump administration has cut the enrollment period in half, so you won’t be able to enroll in late December or January anymore. In a recent poll, 95% of Americans weren’t aware that the exchanges would close on Dec. 15, which brings up another issue. As Forbes reports, the Trump administration has cut funding for health care outreach and advertising by 90%.
If you got help navigating the tricky exchanges last year, that assistance may be harder to find this year, as well. The White House has slashed funding for assistance from people who help Americans shop for coverage by 41%. Also keep in mind, the website will be shut down for 12 hours every Sunday.
But there is good news. The health care offerings are expected to be less expensive for many low-income Americans this year.
Leslie Buford, a healthcare advocate in Oklahoma, has this to say about the exchanges: “Clearly, the more people with health insurance reduces the burden on health care providers by covering a portion of the costs to deliver healthcare. Medical providers are the only group in the US required by law (EMTALA) and ethics to provide a good or service with no guarantee that costs will be recouped.”