Open enrollment for Affordable Care Act begins amid rising prices and confusion

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Rosie Moreno’s job is to help Hoosiers sign up for a health care plan on the federal marketplace as part of the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s very satisfying helping someone,” she said.

This year, though, Moreno said new challenges are emerging.

“I think just a lot of people are confused,” she said. “They don’t know if it’s still available. Did it end? Is it going to still be affordable?”

Wednesday kicked off open enrollment on the federal marketplace for a law that has so far survived numerous attempts by Congressional Republicans to repeal and replace it.

“I think this death by a thousand cuts strategy has proven to be ineffective,” Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) said.

In 2018, Hoosiers will have fewer and more expensive options.

Major insurers like Anthem, Humana and Aetna have backed out of the marketplace in Indiana, leaving just two insurers to choose from, both which have said to expect double-digit increases on average.

The Indiana Department of Insurance reports CareSource Indiana will increase its rates on average by 20 percent and Celtic Insurance Company rates will jump on average 35.7 percent.

“The premiums are going through the roof, deductibles are so high people don’t get to use it,” President Trump recently said. “Obamacare is a disgrace to our nation.”

But Carson is quick to point out subsidies will help lower costs for some customers, still touting what he calls “quality, affordable coverage.”

The open-enrollment period is shorter, ending on Dec. 15.

Federal funding to promote and help people sign-up for plans has also been dramatically cut.

Still, federal navigators are urging Hoosiers to reach out for help and advocates of the law are imploring those insured to share their successes with the law.

“A lot of people have heard that they won’t get much of a subsidy or they won’t get help with a premium,” Sherry Gray said, the interim CEO of the Raphael Health Center. “But they are there and we can help them find some way to get assistance.”

Click here for help finding a federal navigator near you.

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