For millions of Americans, Nov. 1 kicked off an important event: the fifth open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act and a chance for uninsured Hoosiers to get covered.
Despite what you may have heard about what has been going on in Washington, the Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land, and with Open Enrollment for 2018 now underway, I want to make sure that everyone has the information and resources they need to get health coverage.
From now through Dec.15, Hoosiers have an opportunity to shop and sign up for a plan on the health insurance marketplace at HealthCare.gov. Coverage obtained on the health insurance marketplace during open enrollment will be effective Jan. 1, 2018.
This open enrollment window is also an important time for people who already have health insurance plans in the marketplace to see what other options are available, to shop around and see if other plans offer more savings than their current one does. Insurance prices can change, so it pays to shop around.
Hoosiers should also know that financial help may be available to help purchase coverage. During last year’s enrollment period, eight of every 10 people qualified for financial help — for most people, that meant they could find insurance premiums for $100 per month or less.
Not too long ago, those without access to affordable health insurance through a parent or employer had few options. They were forced to choose between paying expensive premiums for coverage or putting food on the table and keeping a roof overhead. Many opted not to purchase coverage, placing themselves and their families at great risk if they became sick or were injured.
Today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, no American can be denied or dropped from coverage because of a pre-existing condition or because they hit an annual or lifetime cap on benefits. One unfortunate accident or illness no longer has the power to derail a person’s chance at receiving quality care in the future or pushing them into a medical bankruptcy.
I encourage Hoosiers in need of coverage to visit Healthcare.gov to browse a broad range of plans with different levels of coverage and affordable premiums. The open enrollment period is a critical time for the health and well-being of our neighbors and for the productivity of our state and country. I encourage Hoosiers to take advantage of this opportunity and receive the benefits that come with affordable health care.
Rep. Andre Carson represents the 7th District of Indiana. He is First Vice Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and one of two Muslims in Congress. Rep. Carson sits on the House Intelligence Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Contact Rep. Carson at carson.house.gov/contact.