Letter to the editor: Time is running out to sign up for health insurance
Time is running out
TO THE EDITOR
Time is running out for people to sign up for Affordable Health Care. The deadline for Open Enrollment is Dec. 15. Our concern is for people who don't have insurance, run into a medical emergency, and lose all they have in order to pay for their medical bills. Insurance CAN be affordable and no longer are those with pre-existing conditions shut out of the system.
Unfortunately, it has been difficult to get the word out. Funding for advertising has been reduced by 90 percent and the time period to sign up has been cut in half, so we are trying to get information to people without health insurance as best we can.
So ― what problems are there besides the fact that open enrollment is only until Dec. 15?
Where can you sign up? You can either call 1-800-318-2596 for help or can go online at www.healthcare.gov. Better yet, if you go to http://localhelp.healthcare.gov, there is a listing of local people who you can call to get help for free. They can tell you if you qualify and will walk you through the signup.
They can easily help you find the best and cheapest insurance you can get, plus obtain a subsidy for you if you need it; 84 percent of the people who get coverage through ACA in Wisconsin get subsidies, and there is still money left. The less money you make, the greater the subsidy will be.
Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation and also a lack of information out there. Insurance can be affordable. What you can't afford is not to have it. First of all, there will be a fine next year if you don't have health insurance. More importantly, if you have even one significant medical emergency, you can potentially lose everything you have.
We strongly encourage anyone without insurance to give it a try. Check local agents, listed on http://localhelp.healthcare.gov. will take the guess work out of the process. As an example, there is an agent in Hudson, specially trained in doing this work, that spends her entire day working with people to find affordable insurance for them. She won't turn anyone down and her services are free. There are a couple of agents who no longer have time to do it, but there ARE agents on the list who still help. If you are uninsured, be sure you get on the phone or a computer to sign up before Dec. 15. The final decision is yours. By trying, nothing is lost, and there is a lot to be gained.
Kay Brooks, New Richmond
Bev Krumm, New Richmond
Melissa Wittstock, New Richmond