Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace begins this week

There were also more pro Obamacare ads this cycle for the first time since the law passed. 

If you already have coverage through the ACA, you should consider updating your application anyway, experts advise. "There are a lot of plans where the prices went down".

"As a doctor, I have seen first-hand the difference health coverage can make in determining people's health outcomes". A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket until your insurance company starts picking up the claims.

Gavin Southwell, the CEO of AgileHealthInsurance.com's parent company, HIIQ, commented, "For consumers in need of health insurance, the elimination of the tax penalty and broadening of the maximum duration of short term health insurance is a double win".

"When you're budgeting, you have to take into account all the costs", said Jodi Ray, director of Florida Covering Kids and Families at USF and director of Florida's navigator grant.

Enrollees can choose one of eight Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of DE plans that are available for purchase in 2019 or they will be automatically re-enrolled in a plan that is similar to the one they now have. "In Florida, over 1.7 million of our neighbors - more than any other state - signed up for a marketplace policy previous year, often with the help of a Navigator", Castor said.

Ray said it's hard to predict how the funding cuts for navigators will affect enrollment numbers this year.

"We have in-person assistance in about half the counties but we're providing enrollment assistance in all 67 counties by phone", said Ray. If your income is between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, you qualify for premium subsidies.

If someone calls about offering health insurance policies, be wary if they say they represent the "national enrollment center", the "national health care center", or any other official-sounding name. The credits are only available if you buy insurance on the marketplace.

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Off marketplace plans have all the essential benefits offered by ACA plans, but they don't provide financial assistance. Off marketplace enrollment started on October 1 and will end on December 31.

Like last year, there are still four insurance providers in the marketplace and those four providers offer a total of 33 different plans this year. They also have the option to purchase short-term health insurance coverage. Congressional and gubernatorial candidates continue to insist they support efforts to not bar people with pre-existing conditions from getting coverage or paying exorbitant rates. Some may not have pharmacy plans. And check with your doctor to make sure the plan is accepted at the office. Bronze plans have low monthly premiums, but high costs when you need care; gold plans have high premiums but lower costs when you need care.

The state will formally mark the Health Insurance Marketplace's sixth enrollment period with a press event at 1 p.m. November 5 at Westside Family Healthcare's Northeast Wilmington Health Center, 908-B E. 16th St. Westside is the only organization in DE to receive federal funding for navigators to help people enroll for coverage either in person or over the phone. For small group plans, costs are expected to increase 0.1 percent.

"Consumers want lower costs, quality choices and a healthy insurance market and our health care Navigators can help them gain the right coverage for their needs".

During the enrollment period, individuals and families who do not receive coverage through their employers can buy insurance through the online Health Insurance Marketplace.

But some analysts say that premiums are flat or dropping next year because insurers overpriced their plans in 2018 because of uncertainty over the future of ACA. The Trump administration has slashed funding by 80 percent since 2016 for health care Navigators who help our neighbors find the best policy in the HealthCare.gov Marketplace.

In 2017, 28.5 million people - or 8.8 percent of Americans - had no health insurance, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That's compared with 28.1 million Americans without insurance the prior year.

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