Web Briefing for Journalists: Key Issues Ahead of Marketplace Open Enrollment

Marketplace open enrollment, the period during which consumers can shop for health plans or renew existing coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces, begins on Nov. 1.

Recent policy changes at the state and federal levels have the potential to impact individuals and families purchasing health insurance for 2019. It’s the first open enrollment period following Congress’ repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate penalty, the requirement that individuals have minimum essential health coverage or face a tax penalty. The Trump administration has also encouraged broader use of short-term, limited duration policies, which cost less than ACA-compliant plans, but offer less insurance protection. Additionally, fewer navigators will be available to help consumers with their questions, following federal funding cuts.

On Friday, October 26,  KFF (the Kaiser Family Foundation) held a web briefing that examined key issues affecting this year’s annual enrollment period. The conversation addressed several topics, including:

  • How are premiums changing in 2019, and how does this compare to prior years?
  • Who is eligible for financial assistance, and how does this assistance affect affordability of coverage?
  • What can consumers expect when it comes to choice of insurers in the marketplaces?
  • Where can consumers get help signing up for coverage?
  • How is the repeal of the individual mandate penalty expected to affect enrollment and premiums?
  • How do short term plans differ in cost and coverage from ACA-compliant plans?
Panelists included Cynthia Cox, director of KFF’s Program for the Study of Health Reform and Private Insurance; Karen Pollitz, senior fellow at the Foundation; and Jennifer Tolbert, director of state health reform and associate director of the Foundation’s Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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