Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act is underway and there's less than two weeks to beat the deadline. While the state's insurance commissioner says enrollment is steady, an organization that signs people up is seeing less interest. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
The non-profit organization Health Help Mississippi assists people in enrolling in the ACA, the Affordable Care Act. Senior Program Manager Keri Abernathy says they're signing up fewer people for health insurance. She says the Trump Administration cut funding to organizations for marketing.
"There's not a lot of boots on the ground if you will doing a lot of outreach and marketing, so we have seen lack of interest due to the lack of marketing not being there," said Abernathy.
Abernathy thinks the repeal of the individual mandate which required people buy healthcare insurance along with people waiting until the last minute may account for the lower enrollment numbers. Mississippi's Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says organizations funded to provide ACA enrollment assistance have been effected by the cuts. But he says enrollment is nearly the same as last year at this time at 70,000, which includes new clients and renewals.
"So the enrollment is actually very even if not up a little bit over the same period for the previous year and that plan is operated in the State of Mississippi by Ambetter. They're the only carrier that operates a plan on the ACA," said Chaney.
Chaney says last year 84,000 Mississippians enrolled. He says ninety-seven percent of people receive a tax credit. Keri Abernathy says premiums are about the same as last year with some paying $50 per month. Enrollment began November 1 and ends December 15. Coverage takes effect January 1, 2019.
If you have questions or need help enrolling in the ACA contact Health Help Mississippi: 1-(877) 314-3843.