ACA Enrollment Window Still Open
You can still enroll for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act without being penalized, that's the word from local insurance experts. This year's enrollment deadline is February 15th and we're hearing that the enrollment process is a lot better this year than last year's disastrous roll out.
"It did go a lot smoother this year as far as enrolling people," according to insurance consultant Scott Hafetz of Hafetz and Associates in Linwood." "The Marketplace technology definitely was improved. they did shorten the actual enrollment process."
Hafetz said new this year are some new and more affordable products being offered by some of the carriers. Also two new carriers Oscar and Health Republic have entered New Jersey's market which Hafetz believes will drive down prices with competition.
With regard to Medicaid, "They've also increased the eligibility for Medicaid to 150 percent of the poverty level. So anybody under 150 percent of poverty level would be eligible for Medicaid.
However, Hafetz said they've noticed of the 1,500 people they enrolled into a health exchange last year, 300 of them have fallen off or have failed to make a payment.
When asked if he believes Affordable Care is good?
"In my opinion it's one-third, one-third, one-third," said Hafetz. "One third of the population is benefiting, one-third it's costing them more money and one-third, they might complain about the cost but you know it is what it is and they're in a situation where it's not really going to change their lifestyle."
However, Hafetz warns you not to base your insurance plan selection on cost alone but on your health needs.
"Clients they went on line and just looked for cost only and didn't realize that the product that they purchased, even though it was the lowest cost product, didn't really cover their needs and they couldn't get to the doctors or hospitals they needed to go to," explained Hafetz.