The Future of the Affordable Care Act: Be Part of the Conversation

Magnifying glass over health insurance policy and piggy bank

There are many unanswered questions regarding how health insurance will be affected when President-Elect Donald Trump takes office in 2017.

President-Elect Trump has indicated he appreciates certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act, namely ensuring dependents can stay on their parents’ plans until age 26 and maintaining some type of coverage access for individuals with pre-existing conditions, but we don’t know the future.

We do know that our calls from individuals covered under individual ACA policies have shifted.  Initially concerned over steeply rising premium costs, they now voice concern that coverage may go away completely.

On Nov. 9, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that the day after the Nov. 8 election boasted the highest enrollment numbers of the year to date — nearly 100,000 people through healthcare.gov. Here at Avera Health Plans we experienced the same uptick.

Affordability remains the single issue of importance for policymakers. Many conversations will be had in coming months in Washington, D.C. and across the nation.

Don’t be afraid to have your own conversations with elected officials to share your health coverage stories. Call your elected officials; talk with their staff members. Your story is an important one and they want to know your story.

If individual health coverage is important to you, your voice is important. Let them know what you feel works and what needs to be replaced. Your stories are impactful. I have appreciated each and every one of those shared with me – whether we could offer help or not.

In 2017, take advantage of the benefits that you do have. Shop for plans and look into whether you could qualify for premium tax credits that could significantly reduce your year-over-year premium increase significantly.

Importantly, take action before Dec. 15 so that your coverage will begin uninterrupted on Jan. 1, 2017.

 

By Deb Muller

Chief Administrative Officer at Avera Health Plans

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