Enroll the Uninsured: A New and Final Directive

Posted June 21st, 2016 by Rob Anderson

Obamacare's last open enrollment begins Nov. 1. ending Jan. 31, 2017. HealthCare.gov, the federally and state-run marketplace, is the exclusive retailer of Obamacare plans. People can also buy individual health plans outside HealthCare.gov, with an insurance professional, privately run exchanges, or directly from insurers themselves.

The President announced a push for young adults without health care and other remaining uninsured people to sign up for Obamacare plans. The fall of 2016 will be the administration's last year in office when it can help create awareness and actively push for Obamacare sign-ups.

The strategies aim to improve plans sold through the Obamacare marketplace. And, Obama actually wants to increase overall health care for young people in this country. The young continue to have higher uninsured rates as the overall rate of the uninsured has decreased across all age groups.

Millions of uninsured people can expect to receive mail from the federal government especially those who were subject and actually paid the tax penalty for being uninsured in 2014. Individuals who claimed an exemption will also be contacted.

Age 35 and under comprised 45 percent of the persons who paid a fine or claimed and exemption. That number was just 30 percent only two years ago.

"Smarter outreach" is also a goal of the administration during the next open enrollment. Email will be a large part of the campaigns prompting people to complete an application for coverage immediately. Enrollees will be assisted with selecting a health plan and making their binder payment, especially those who have paused this task in the past.

Emails will be scheduled to be sent out before certain key enrollment deadlines, which has proven very effective in motivating younger adults to enroll.

Insurers are strongly encouraged to help young adults turning age 26 to transition off their parents' health plans. These younger adults will be invited to visit the marketplace to enroll in their own plans. The ACA lets individuals under 26 to be covered by their parents' plans. Consequently, people turning 26 comprise a large segment of the uninsured.

The penalty for not having coverage in 2017 will be $695 per adult, or 2.5 percent of household income or whichever one is higher.

Obamacare aims to increase the strength of the risk pool. The other moves use short-term health insurance that doesn't comply with Obamacare. Funding provided by the federal government that could prevent massive premium increases next year is also included.

A Disproportionate share of customers make up these weak risk pools. Costing the policies more in claims than what carriers are collecting in premiums.

Most carriers have requested double-digit percentage increases for their Obamacare plans. They all argue their risk pools have become mush worse than originally thought.

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