Shortened sign-up period under way for Health Insurance Marketplace program

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"Regardless of what decisions are ultimately reached by government leaders, our community and our nation benefit by continuing this progress in making health care more accessible".

Insure Georgia is holding free events across Central Georgia to help people in enroll. The enrollment period for 2018 ends December 1.

Because President Donald Trump cut funding that had kept silver plan deductibles and copays low for lower income buyers, insurance companies raised silver plan premiums. The state has opened enrollment centers with staff to help consumers sort through their options and enroll, including one such center in Olympia operated by GHB Insurance.

Josh Peck, who ran the advertising program under the Obama administration for the health care exchange sign-ups, predicts the cutbacks in advertising for the exchanges from $100 million last year to $10 million this year will result in at least 1.1 million fewer people signing up for one of the exchange programs.

The Marketplace typically covers home-based businesspeople, contract employees, early retirees and those who can't otherwise get coverage from a spouse.

In Florida, where premiums are expected to rise 49 percent, the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida is hosting a handful of house parties during which navigators will assist with sign-ups.

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"I worry that we're going to get a lot of people this year that fall in the cracks", said Moffett.

In Ohio, the largest state navigator group shuttered its program after losing almost 88 percent of its funding, dropping from $1.7 million to $486,000. Last year, you had until after the holidays to sign up. This year, her group will be in only the most densely populated areas after losing almost half its funding.

"And it will not cost you a penny more", said Kaiser. "Our state is mostly rural, so that means traveling great distances between small numbers of people, and it's just not cost-effective to do that when you also only have six weeks". "If you do not have health insurance elsewhere, you need to take part in Open Enrollment to make sure you choose the best insurance plan to meet your needs as well as determine if you qualify for tax subsidies to offset premium costs".

Republicans in Congress hope to turn back to repeal legislation next year. Eight states have only one insurer. Access Health CT has its own marketing budget. A coalition of local groups stepped in to pick up some of the slack.

Almost half of counties in the US are expected to have only one insurer offering plans in 2018.

You might pay less for plans outside the silver tier because the increase in financial help could be higher than the increase in prices.

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