MEDIA RELEASE: Despite Trump Sabotage Efforts, North Carolinians Can Now Sign Up for Affordable Coverage for 2018

Shortened Marketplace Open Enrollment period runs November 1st through December 15th

RALEIGH (October 31, 2017) — With the Marketplace Open Enrollment period beginning tomorrow, November 1, now is the time for North Carolinians to sign up for health coverage. Affordable options still exist for North Carolinians despite efforts by the Trump administration to sabotage and undermine enrollment under the Affordable Care Act.

Due to changes put forth by the Trump administration, North Carolinians have half as long to enroll in coverage for next year than they did last year: Open Enrollment will last only six weeks, from November 1 to December 15. They can apply and shop for plans online at www.HealthCare.gov or by calling 1-800-318-2596.

Following months of debate as congressional Republicans and the Trump administration tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the ACA is here to stay. But the Trump administration’s sabotage efforts – slashing funding for outreach and advertising, canceling payments to insurers to offset the costs of subsidies, implying that the administration may not enforce the individual mandate, and so on – may leave consumers confused about the facts.

By eliminating payments for cost-sharing reductions to insurance companies, the Trump administration caused Blue Cross to raise its premiums by an average of 14.1 percent instead of the “near zero” increase it would have sought otherwise. But financial help—including discounted premiums and lower deductibles—remains available for 2018, and most consumers are still required to have health coverage.

“Most North Carolinians won’t be affected by the premium increases, as financial assistance on the Marketplace will increase to keep up with any increases in premiums,” said Brendan Riley, Policy Analyst with the NC Justice Center's Health Advocacy Project. “More than 9 out of 10 people who enrolled in our state last year qualified for lower prices, so every North Carolinian should visit HealthCare.gov to learn about their options before December 15.”

While the Trump administration has cut budgets of navigators and in-person assisters, free local help is still available in North Carolina. Consumers can book free appointments in their area by calling the NC Navigator hotline at 1-855-733-3711 or by visiting NCNavigator.net, where they can also find information about enrollment events.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Brendan Riley, Brendan@ncjustice.org, 919.856.2146; Julia Hawes, julia@ncjustice.org, 919.863.2406.

 

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