Web Briefing for Journalists: Consumer Issues Ahead of the Affordable Care Act’s Second Open Enrollment Season

The Affordable Care Act’s second annual open enrollment period starts Nov. 15 and runs until Feb. 15 — a three-month window for Americans to shop for and purchase new health coverage, or change their plan through Healthcare.gov or their state-run insurance marketplace.  This year’s open enrollment season poses both new and recurring challenges for consumers:  How are premiums for marketplace plans changing, and what do the changes mean for consumers?  Why might current marketplace customers want to consider switching plans?  For those new to insurance, how can they better understand and use their coverage?  And how will the law’s subsidies and coverage requirements affect consumers’ 2014 and 2015 taxes?  Again, this year, local and national print, online, television and radio news outlets will play a major role in educating their audiences about how the law may affect them and what they can do about it.

To help, the Kaiser Family Foundation held a web briefing exclusively for journalists on Thursday, November 13, 2014 with short presentations by Foundation State Health Policy Director Jennifer Tolbert, Senior Fellow Karen Pollitz, and Senior Policy Analyst Cynthia Cox, who answered questions from participating journalists.  Penny Duckham, executive director of the Foundation’s Media Fellowships Program, will moderate.

The web briefing is part of the “Covering Health Reform” series, launched last year and continuing this year throughout the open enrollment period.  Future topics will include a look at the law’s employer requirement as it goes into effect and how it may affect businesses and workers and an update on the status of the Medicaid expansion in the states.

If you were unable to attend the web briefing, but would like to receive all future updates on the series, please email your name and media affiliation to KFF.  You can also email KFF to provide feedback and ideas for the series.

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.