Shorter Enrollment Period Set this Year for ACA

There’s one web address which many Americans will be typing in, starting next week – HealthCare.Gov – as open enrollment begins November 1st for people to sign up for coverage. It will run until December 15, as opposed to the end of January as in previous years.

With a shorter window of opportunity to sign up this year, those at the local level are stepping up to help out.

“If people do not enroll between November 1st and December 15th, that door closes,” Lieske Giese, director of the Eau Claire City-County Health Department. “Our strong encouragement is that people sign up for ACA that are needing health insurance.”

During open enrollment in 2016, more than 3,916 people in Eau Claire County selected a plan on the Affordable Care Act marketplace, but Giese says it’s not just for the poor or people not eligible through an employer.

“Often, people that are on ACA are using that resource, because they’re not eligible for an employer-sponsored health insurance or they’re not in a low enough income bracket to be eligible for, in Wisconsin, Medicaid or BadgerCare,” she said. “There is a middle group of people who may be self-employed, who may be farmers, who may be at an employment situation where they don’t offer health insurance that really need it.”

According to the UW Population Health Institute, more than 220,000 Wisconsinites last year put the Affordable Care Act to work for them. But, no matter how people in the state get their health coverage taken care of, getting it taken care of isn’t always easy.