Today marks the beginning of Open Enrollment for Virginians to sign-up for health insurance plans at Healthcare.gov. Open enrollment ends on December 15, 2017. If you sign-up by December 15th, your coverage will start on January 1, 2018.
I encourage everyone to visit Healthcare.gov to learn about their health insurance options. Coverage could be more affordable than you think. During last year’s enrollment period, 8-in-10 people qualified for financial assistance. In our district, more than 45,300 individuals purchased health insurance through the Healthcare Insurance Marketplace last year.
20 million previously uninsured Americans have gained quality coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Here in Virginia, more than 327,000 people have gained insurance, and if Republicans in Richmond would accept Medicaid expansion, an additional 226,000 people would be covered.
The Affordable Care also implemented critical reforms and consumer protections. Insurance companies can no longer deny someone health insurance due to a pre-existing condition or drop your coverage due to annual or lifetime caps. Children can stay on their parent's health insurance plan until they turn 26. We are working to close the Medicare prescription drug “donut hole,” which has saved seniors in Virginia more than $1,100 on drug costs. And health care costs are increasing at the slowest rate in recent history.
If you are satisfied with your current insurance coverage and do not plan on making any changes, you do not need to take any action; your coverage will be automatically renewed. However, if you have experienced a recent life event such as marriage or birth of a child, you may want to make sure that your insurance company has updated your policy. In addition, changes in your income can affect premium subsidies that you may qualify for so I recommend that you verify that you are receiving the maximum financial assistance possible.
Unfortunately, this year’s Open Enrollment is only six weeks so please don’t miss your chance to get covered. Due to expected high volumes, I urge you to enroll as soon as possible and not wait until the end of the open enrollment period. Visit Healthcare.gov to review your options or contact my office at 703-256-3071 if you have any questions. We can also help connect you with local healthcare navigators who can assist with signing-up for a health insurance plan.