Open enrollment season has begun for Obamacare - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Open enrollment season has begun for Obamacare

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President Trump has made multiple attempts to repeal and replace what was formally known as the Affordable Care Act. Despite those attempts, Obamacare's open enrollment for 2018 began yesterday, November 1st.

According to the vice president of financial services for St. Vincent Healthcare, Pam Palagi, it was anticipated that 70 thousand people would qualify for Obamacare in the state of Montana for 2018. Yet, there's been a lot of confusion about open enrollment season due to President Trump's recent decision to cut off important Obamacare subsidies.

Palagi said the core of Obamacare is medicaid expansion to make sure everyone has health insurance. Trump has signed executive orders that diminish certain requirements on insurance companies making enrollment a non-priority by cutting out funding. She said the president's initial actions will impact folks that are self-employed or work for small enough employers that do not offer insurance, which Montana has quite a few of. She also said as soon as President Trump signed the executive order, large insurance providers immediately revised the rates they were going to offer. With all this confusion going on regarding health insurance, Palagi explained how St. Vincent Healthcare can help.

"As hospitals, we definitely have a lot of financial counselors and patient access representatives," Palagi said. "We have a lot of people available to help folks with any questions that they might have around products that they might qualify for or services that we can offer to try to help make sure that we do our best to find avenues where they really do have the right coverage."

Open enrollment will end on December 15th, which is a lot shorter than past years.

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