Dingell Urges Michiganders to Sign up for Health Coverage as Administration Cancels Outreach in Final Days of ACA Enrollment
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) is reminding individuals who need health insurance – or want to explore new plans for 2017 – that they can still sign up for coverage until the January 31st deadline. This comes after the Trump Administration halted all advertising and other outreach activities for the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the critical last few days of Open Enrollment.
“People should not be hurt by politics,” said Dingell. “This is an opportunity for individuals who need insurance to sign up, and canceling outreach in the final days of Open Enrollment will only result in fewer Americans gaining health care coverage who need it. I want to remind everyone that you can still visit Healthcare.gov between now and January 31st to sign up for a plan that’s right for you and your family.”
Michigan residents can also call 1-800-318-2596 to learn about the options available or find free in-person help in their community by visiting LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov.
“President Trump said himself that he wants to provide insurance for everybody,” continued Dingell. “If he believes this, then our goal should be to ensure more people have affordable health care coverage, not undermine the progress that’s been made over the last seven years.”
This action by the Administration will actually waste, not save, taxpayer dollars because the government had already purchased the ads that were going to run.
The last week of January is one of the two weeks of the enrollment season that has the largest surge of consumers signing up. In the three years since the Marketplaces began, the final day of enrollment has been the second-biggest day of enrollment. It is topped only by December 31st, the deadline for people seeking coverage effective January 1st.
Also, the last week of January has always tended to draw younger enrollees, who often wait until the very last minute to sign up. For the last week of the sign-up period, HHS had planned a major advertising campaign specifically aimed at younger adults. It is this advertising campaign that is being halted. If there end up being fewer young adults in the Marketplaces, the risk pools in the Marketplaces would be less healthy – destabilizing the Marketplaces for the future.
Before this action, enrollment in the 2017 Marketplaces had been going well. As of December 24th, more than 11.5 million people nationwide had signed up for 2017 Marketplace plans, higher than the same time last year.