ACA Health Insurance Open Enrollment Ends Friday - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

ACA Health Insurance Open Enrollment Ends Friday

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Nevadans are shopping around for a new health care policy as the deadline looms.  The open enrollment period comes to an end Friday, December 15 at midnight. Those who qualify can sign-up through HealthCare.Gov

"There's a lot of people that are leaving their previous insurance companies, but there's also people just shopping the market to make sure they're getting the best deal for their family," Matt Law, Broker for Health Benefits Associates, Inc. said.

The six week sign-up period is half as long as open enrollment in 2016, when more than 89,000 people bought insurance on the exchange. Since November 1 only about 45,000 people have purchased a policy.

"I'm not sure what it's going to look like at the end of open enrollment but I don't think we had enough time to necessarily meet the numbers that we would have met in 2017," Janel Davis, Communications Officer for Silver State Health Insurance Exchange said. "If we would have had just a couple more weeks to let people enroll and find out the process and see what they're eligible for, that would have been really helpful."

Davis says about 85% of enrollees qualify for a subsidy or discount. The individual mandate is still law, so anyone who does not buy a health insurance plan could face a fine.

"That is $695 per individual or 2.5% of your yearly household income, whichever would be higher," Davis said.

Costs are rising, and there are fewer options. Still, as premiums rise, so do the subsidies. Nevada has three insurance companies to choose from, but 14 counties only have one option.

"Northern Nevada lost five insurance companies from this year to next year and that has really rocked the boat with people's current coverage," Law said.

"Insurance is confusing and we really want people to know that Nevada Health Link is here," Davis said. "We still exist and affordable health insurance options are still available."

There will be a grace period for people who miss Friday's deadline due to a qualifying life-event.

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