Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 17, 2017 


The Keystone oil pipeline spills big time in South Dakota; a look at the GOP tax plan and it’s impact on the most vulnerable Americans; and renewed hope for Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters national monument.

Daily Newscasts

ACA Open Enrollment: Shorter Time Period, But Business as Usual

The health-insurance open-enrollment period has been cut from three months to 45 days this year. (Chanel Weaver/Army Medicine)
The health-insurance open-enrollment period has been cut from three months to 45 days this year. (Chanel Weaver/Army Medicine)
November 1, 2017

BOISE, Idaho - The open-enrollment period to purchase health coverage on the state-run insurance marketplace begins today. Folks in Idaho can look online at healthcare.gov or find free help signing up at yourhealthidaho.org.

Pat Kelly, executive director of Your Health Idaho, said there are about 900 representatives that can counsel people across the state. He added that Idahoans should sign up soon, because the enrollment period this year has been cut from three months to 45 days.

"We're encouraging everyone to get out on our website just as soon as they can," he said. "Don't wait until the last minute. We're ready with products and plans."

Open enrollment ends Dec. 15. The federal government has cut the marketing budget for insurance exchanges and also the budget for navigators, individuals who help people find plans. The Trump administration also decided to end cost-sharing payments to insurance companies, which could mean premiums will rise for some Idahoans.

Despite the uncertainties about federal health-care policy, Kelly said people should get health insurance so they don't risk the burden of debt in the event of a tragedy.

"You can never predict when an accident will happen, and as we like to say, 'Bones break and so do bank accounts,' " he said. "So, we're really encouraging people to get covered, and make that really important investment in yourself and your family."

Last year, more than 100,000 Idahoans signed up for insurance during the enrollment period. The state had one of the highest per-capita enrollment rates in the country.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID