Local News

Open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act begins

SPOKANE, Wash. - Open enrollment for individual plans on under the Affordable Care Act starts Wednesday.

Better Health Together, a local resource that helps navigate users through the process says this year there's half the amount of plans and a new online tool that will help you to pick the plan that meets your needs called the Smart Plan Finder.

“You can put in how many times you go to the doctor, what prescriptions you have and it will pick a plan for you that best fits your needs,” said Curtis Fackler, the Navigator Program Manager at Better Health Together.

One of the most important things to know about signing up for coverage for 2018 through the Affordable Care Act is the dates of open enrollment. In Washington, it will continue through January 15th. In other states you only have until December 15th. 

For those who are signing up for first time in Washington, December 15th is important.

“We are a state-based exchange so our open enrollment runs all the way through January 15th. But the most important date is December 15th because that will ensure you have coverage January 1st,” said Fackler.

If you are currently enrolled, it is still a good idea to check in on your plan.

“If your plan is the same as last year, they will probably just renew you which will mean a premium increase and chances are your situation changed,” said Fackler.

Unlike years past, Better Health Together says it's been surprised as it meets with marketplace users today though as more people are finding their costs are going down.

Debra Watts has relied on Obamacare for health coverage for the last five years. She had a life change this year, retirement, and said she was ready to hear costs were going to increase.

“I honestly thought my premiums would be going way up because what's happening but I was surprised to find I am getting more of a tax credit,” explained Watts.

She's meets with her adviser at Better Health Together every year after having some trouble in the virtual marketplace.

“It  has been difficult online for me so i come to the experts to guide me through,” said Watts.

Better Health Together is located at 1206 North Lincoln Avenue, Suite 105. To schedule an appointment, call 509-321-7500.

Better Health Together recommends deciding on a plan sooner rather than later, as when the deadline nears, the phone lines clog up and appointments are few and far between.