Charitable foundation funds health care enrollment marketing

Credit Andrew Harnik  AP

"I heard something about defunding?"

What are the pros and cons of getting healthcare through the Affordable Care Act marketplace? Those include a shorter enrollment window that lasts until December 15, and deep cuts in advertising and consumer assistance.

The Trump administration in late August said it would slash the Obamacare advertising budget by 90 percent, and the budget for in-person enrollment by 41 percent.

And Trump, who has spent months on Twitter threatening to "let Obamacare fail" and is now apparently trying to help it down that road, has stopped paying insurers the cost-sharing reductions that cover some patients' co-pays and deductibles, spurring a panic about rising premiums.

Here are five communities that rely on effective, available and affordable health insurance. The exchanges sell health coverage, often at subsidized discounts, to people who do not have insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, or other sources.

Regardless of the initial confusion among people who thought Obamacare was no longer functional, what with President Donald Trump planning to bury it at every opportunity that he gets, people are starting to register for ACA. This is the most anyone has to pay for covered services in a plan year - not counting the premium costs. Access to health care is critical to the freedom, dignity, and well-being of our citizens; and it also contributes to a productive workforce and a thriving economy. She hadn't been pleased with the results.

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Altman, of the state Insurance Department, said she'd fielded calls from people concerned about skyrocketing premiums, or losing their financial assistance. As with any insurance program, when the pool of insured people shrinks, the cost to participate skyrockets. "Sort of to counter balance that increase in premiums, so it's still affordable".

The time restraint is keeping health care agencies busy helping Suncoast residents pick the right plans for them. Others might be able to afford pricier plans that were once out of reach.

"I still run into people who are wondering, am I still going to have a plan next year?" Foster passed pamphlets across the table, circled the important parts, dutifully entered information into sign-up forms.

On the other hand, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MI said it would spend less on wooing customers because of the financial pressures from the lowered subsidies, which went into effect this month. If more uninsured Americans learn about the benefits of regular, routine health care, they'll see the value to themselves and their families, and the ACA will thrive.

Americans only have a few weeks to decide on a 2018 health plan. I hope not because this is America.

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