TAMPA, Fla. — The holiday season is also health insurance enrollment season and millions of Americans are expected to sign up for insurance on the website healthcare.gov.
“One of the things people realize if they don’t have healthcare insurance is that emergency room visits are very expensive,” said Darryl Means, with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
That is just one reason why millions of people are signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act during the open enrollment period.
“These are high-quality plans that cover everything from doctor visits to preventative services to hospital care and more,” Means said.
Many of the insurance plans also cover prescription medication, which can be expensive. And this year, the financial assistance program has been expanded to cover more people than ever before.
“The American Rescue Plan has enabled us to provide more and more financial assistance," Means said. "So, now, millions of people who didn’t qualify before may be able to qualify for it.”
This means, even people with higher incomes qualify for financial assistance to pay for health care. Darryl Means said those with higher incomes who qualify will see savings of at least $243 a month.
“Many people will find when they go into healthcare.gov, that they will find plans $10 or less,” Means said.
Usually, open enrollment ends on December 15, but this year, the government extended open enrollment until January 15 to ensure that as many people as possible can change their current health plan or find a new one that better suits them.
All of the coverage changes and additional time appear to be helping reduce the number of Americans without health insurance. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, there are currently 11.3 million people enrolled in Affordable Care Act Marketplace plans.
Additionally, HHS said there are 14.8 million "newly-eligible people enrolled in Medicaid through the ACA's expansion of eligibility to adults as of December 2020." HHS's latest report also found that over a six-year period, the number of nonelderly uninsured adults decreased by 41 percent to 28.2 million Americans.
To sign up, just click here https://www.healthcare.gov/ or call: 1-800-318-2596