What Do The Elections Mean for Open Enrollment and Beyond?
The 2016 election results are prompting many questions about the future of the Affordable Care Act. While there is uncertainty about these changes in political leadership, a few things are clear now that advocates, assisters, and most importantly, consumers, need to know.
- Open enrollment will continue, and consumers will be able to continue signing up for coverage that will begin on January 1, 2017. Consumers still want and need health insurance, as illustrated by the nearly 100,000 consumers who enrolled in coverage on the day after the election—the highest enrollment number since the fourth open enrollment period began. It is critical that consumers know that they can and should still enroll in coverage for themselves and their families.
- In-person assistance to help people buy a health plan will be more critical than ever, especially as consumers are confused and have questions about their options. Assisters should work together to create clear messaging so that consumers know they can still get coverage. Reaching out to new and existing consumers and educating them about their options should be a top priority among the assister community.
- Any significant repeal efforts will not happen overnight. Republican proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act will likely include a transition period so that people who currently have marketplace coverage do not experience immediate disruptions to coverage. Health insurance companies have also signaled that they are committed to making sure consumers have continuity of coverage.
One of the most important things that advocates and supporters of the ACA can do to help protect the future of the law is to work to ensure that OE4 is as successful as possible. We will continue to share updates and resources as we learn more about the impact of the elections, so stay tuned.