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Health & Science

For Some Ohioans, the Affordable Care Act Could Actually be Cheaper This Year


With open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act starting Wednesday, Ohio health advocates are trying to get people ready. But as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, they’re facing a lot of confusion over subsidies, a much shorter signup period and a government web site that promises to shut down for maintenance during key periods of that sign-up window.

The Affordable Care Act is still the law, but a new Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll says about a third of the general public doesn’t know that. And 85 percent of the people without insurance don’t know the six-week sign-up period starts Wednesday.

Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at Kaiser, says some of the biggest confusion is over President Trump’s elimination of subsidies to insurance companies to underwrite plans for lower-income people. But Pollitz says the tax credits to low- and moderate-income Ohioans to help cover premiums continue, and some people could actually pay less.

“As long as you buy the benchmark silver plan or a cheaper plan, you will pay the same or less than you did in 2017 for coverage. And this year, because of the unusual pattern of premium rate changes in Ohio and Pennsylvania, people may also find other deals on bronze and gold plans.” 

Federal cuts have eliminated more than 90 percent of the funding in Ohio that helped people navigate the plans and sign up. But a range of services from community health centers to United Ways have stepped in.  

Click here for a link to the Kaiser Family Foundation county map of plans and costs.

Here's a link if you are shopping on the individual market.