by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Obamacare’s sixth open enrollment begins Thursday, with a slew of new regulations and changes for customers to navigate as they shop for health plans.
The healthcare law, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, over the years has faced website problems, regulation alterations, price hikes, and legal changes. It remains politically loaded, but is still the law of the land. Customers will still be able to buy coverage regardless of whether they are sick. …
… 1. People won’t be fined if they go uninsured
The Republican-backed tax bill that President Trump signed into law zeroes out the fine for going uninsured, known as the “individual mandate.”
This means that if people choose not to buy health insurance that goes into effect in 2019, then they won’t be fined. …
… 2. People can buy plans outside of Obamacare’s rules
Certain people who buy Obamacare plans are looking at daunting rate increases that may have caused them to be priced out of the market. With an eye toward helping those people, the Trump administration extended what are known as “ short-term plans.”
Up until 2016, people could be covered by these plans for up to a year, then the Obama administration shrunk them to only three months so that more people would go into Obamacare instead. The Trump administration reinstated the one-year policy, and allowed customers to renew the short-term plans twice, for a total of three years. People have been allowed to buy these plans since Oct. 1, and they can be bought year-round.