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Many people enrolling in the ACA could see plans with no premiums

Written by Brett Sholtis/Transforming Health | Oct 31, 2017 4:35 AM
Affordable_care_act_online_marketplace.jpg

The Healthcare.gov website is seen on a computer screen Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, in Washington. It's sign-up season for the Affordable Care Act, but the Trump administration isn't making it easy _ cutting the enrollment period in half, slashing advertising and dialing back on counselors who help consumers get through the process. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Harrisburg) -- Enrollment on the Affordable Care Act's online marketplace is about to begin, and premiums are up.

But, many people may qualify for plans with no premiums at all.

ACA premiums spiked after President Donald Trump cut the cost sharing reduction, as insurers prepared to eat up more costs.

One perhaps surprising result is consumers will get bigger subsidies -- in some cases covering their entire premiums.

State Acting Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman says many people in the midstate will qualify for a zero-dollar premium on the Bronze plan level.

But doesn't mean all consumers should jump on bronze plans.

She says, the bronze option may not be the best savings for those who need a lot of services.

"While you might see a zero dollar a month premium on a bronze, you might also have a very high deductible or you might see much higher copays when you go see the doctor," she says. "Eighty percent of Pennsylvanias who seek coverage through the marketplace receive financial assistance, so if you're worried about the price at least come, take a look, see what's available to you and if it fits within your budget."

Altman also encourages people to look at "off-exchange" plans, which may be a cheaper option this year.

Open enrollment begins tomorrow and ends December 15th.

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