Open enrollment for health insurance begins today and runs through December 15th. Following years of empty campaign promises and symbolic repeal votes, Obamacare is still the law of the land. That means the individual mandate to purchase health insurance remains. It’s important to get signed up in this time frame or risk being penalized under federal law.
Even though Obamacare is still the law, the Trump administration has done a number of things to undermine the health insurance market making it more difficult, and eventually more expensive for North Dakotans to get health insurance. The forty-five-day window to sign up for 2018 coverage is down from years past. The shorter window, along with slashes in advertisement funding mean the general public is not receiving the basic information needed for the law.
Another way this administration is undermining Obamacare is limited resources for “Navigators.” These individuals help consumers navigate the insurance marketplace in a neutral fashion. According to experts in Bismarck, one contractor who provided navigator services was cut from $300,000 to $12,000. This dramatic reduction will make it seem like Obamacare is not working for average consumers who will continue to grow frustrated if those who are meant to provide education and information are no longer readily available. That is why I provided a platform on my KFGO show “Afternoons Live” to spread the word. Lori Kinn is a navigator with Family HealthCare in Fargo. That interview is above.
All of these attempts to make it more difficult to sign up and get information coupled with the blatant sabotage by President Trump of denying the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments give cover to politicians who rail against Obamacare. Politicians can continue to use the false claims of “death spiral” and “implosion,” but understand that is really being created by their very own actions. As I’ve said before, they own it.
The bottom line is, the law still mandates you have insurance and politicians should stop trying to undermine your information and access to the best policy for you. You can go to www.healthcare.gov for more information.