JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — We’re less than one week away from open enrollment starting for the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare”. This is happening as health insurance premiums skyrocket for those who are enrolling. Here’s how you can keep costs down going forward.
The news of premiums going up is alarming to people who rely on this type of insurance, but there are navigators across the country, and right here in Mid-Michigan, who are helping people chose a plan that’s right for them.
Tonya Allen is a health care navigator at the Center for Family Health in Jackson. Allen has been getting calls from people she’s helped sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. “A lot of people are concerned,” Allen said.
Premiums are going up for several reasons. Providers are dropping out, while some low-cost plans are expiring. And several insurance companies say they’re raising rates to make up for the large influx of customers they have with expensive medical conditions.
Despite all this, Allen says people shouldn’t be discouraged from getting covered. “They can look at different options and get a plan that has less of the features they wanted, but will also be more affordable monthly premiums. And in that case we could offer different discount programs and give something that would help to benefit them so they have the same coverage over the next year,” Allen said.
Also, more than 80 percent of “Obamacare” customers get subsidies that help pay for premiums. Allen says taking a close look at your plan and asking questions can save you money. “The best thing to do is to come in and see us, and see what we can help you with. It’s not going to be beneficial to not see what your options are, and not re-enroll,” Allen said.
Open enrollment starts Nov. 1, and the deadline is the end of January. To find a health care navigator in your community, visit this link: https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/#intro