Enrollment Period For Affordable Care Act Begins November 15th

     You could call it Obamacare 2.0, the enrollment period for the second year of the Affordable Care Act opens November 15th.
     "It is projected that 17 thousand people in Hamilton County right now are considered uninsured. What we want to encourage consumers to do is find a plan that is right for them, for their family and for their budget," says Nancy Ridge, the Health Care Navigator Program Manager for the Medical Foundation of Chattanooga.
     The Healthcare.gov website was plagued with problems during the initial roll out last year, but local officials hope the process will be less complicated this time around.
     "They have a shortened version of the application, it is not going to take as long as it did last year. There will be a lot more consumers being able to get through the process a lot quicker," added Ridge.
     Four major changes on the horizon, a shorter enrollment period that lasts just 3 months. There are now four different providers and over 90 plans to choose from. Financial assistance starts at incomes 100%-400% of poverty level. The new penalty for being uninsured? $325 dollars or 2 percent of income.
     "The financial assistance, that’s anywhere from 11 thousand dollars to up to 90 thousand dollars depending on how many are in your household. Typically what people do that don’t have health insurance is that they’ll go to emergency rooms, they go to a doc in the box, and all that doctor is going to do in the emergency room and in those quick cares is treat the presented problems."
     Health care industry experts say even if you don’t take advantage of the ACA, having some type of coverage is a better choice in the long run.
    "If you have health care insurance, you can develop a relationship with a primary care physician. You are going to be able to get free preventative and wellness visits, where doctors can get to know you and know what your needs are. I think the healthier we are as individuals, the healthier we are as families. Then we are going to have a healthier community, and we know healthy communities can also create a healthy productive work environment, so it is good overall for the community."

          The Medical Foundation of Chattanooga will hold several sign up and informational events around the area during the enrollment period:

November 15th 10-2pm at New Covenant Fellowship 1326 North Moore Rd.

November 18th 4-7pm at the Collegedale Library

Dec. 2nd         at the Collegedale Library

Medical Foundation of Chattanooga

Affordable Care Act

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