The Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land and until it's not, consumers are being urged to continue enrolling on the government-run marketplace as usual.
Plans for 2016 will be enforced until
"Our message to consumers and to all our navigators and assisters is that nothing has changed. Be calm and enroll," said
"The chances of anything changing for the 2017 marketplace plans is very, very low. I can't say zero because extraordinary things have happened this year. ... But essentially it's baked, it's set, and it's being served, even though it doesn't start until
Open enrollment on the marketplace, created by the 2010 Affordable Care Act, began
The marketplace is where working-age people who don't get health insurance via their employer or through a government program may purchase health plans and qualify for federal subsidies to help pay for them. Many people refer to the insurance available on the marketplace as Obamacare as it was passed during
Some states created their own marketplaces, but
Trump's reforms include allowing individuals to deduct the full amount of premiums for individual health plans from their federal tax returns, providing block grants to finance state
On Wednesday, the day after the election, more than 100,000 Americans signed up for health insurance via the marketplace, which is also known as the health exchange.
"Consumers want affordable coverage, and are naturally apprehensive about the unknown," said Dr.
"Until things are sorted out by the new administration and
Federal officials held a national call with enrollment assisters and navigators Thursday to emphasize that people continue to need and want affordable coverage for 2017.
Their message is that affordable coverage is still available, that the vast majority of consumers who purchase plans on the marketplace are eligible for subsidies, and that signing up is both cost-free and easy.
"For now, the prudent path would be for consumers to understand their current options, and do what is best for their own coverage and for their families," Derksen said. "It would be very difficult, for many reasons, to leave 11 million without a viable alternative."
Help is available
The Pima Community Access Program, which helps people enroll in health insurance, is instructing its enrollment assisters and navigators to continue helping consumers enroll in health coverage as usual.
"The main message is we the assisters are here to help," executive director
Gjersvig of the
The Affordable Care Act is not just about the 11 million Americans, including 31,000
The law, among other things, allows young adults to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until they are 26; prohibits health insurance companies from denying coverage to people due to pre-existing conditions, and requires marketplace plans to cover
Gjersvig said he's heard about a lot of women wanting to get IUDs in the wake of the election, for example, because that form of contraception is currently covered by plans under the law. But women should not worry about coverage changing so quickly, he said.
"It will take time for
An analysis by the
But analyzing those proposals may be shortsighted.
"Trump has no policy track record. You only have his campaign words to go on," Gjersvig said. "We really have to wait."
One couple, for example, was worried about their
The real problems with Obamacare insurance this enrollment season have nothing to do with the election, Magnuson said.
"As I tell my clients, keep trudging along," Magnuson said. "Regardless of how the election went, this is a horrible year for plans in
"The real bottom line as we sit here today is before we really start to worry about Trump, let's at least wait until he's sworn in and not president-elect but president," Magnuson said.
Derksen says he would not want to see the
"It will mean taking on the corporate interests that fuel cost growth untethered to accountability in terms of value and improved health outcomes," he said
"On that front there are many battles worth waging that would really help -- holding insurers accountable, forcing the pharmaceutical industry to justify skyrocketing charges for lifesaving drugs, and addressing at long last the liability/malpractice crisis that adds so much cost to delivering health services."
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