The Billfold
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The Billfold

You Have Two More Days to Enroll in the ACA

It’s not perfect, but it’s helped a lot of people.

Photo credit: frankieleon, CC BY 2.0.

I’m guessing the majority of Billfold readers already know this, but in case anyone needs to know: Affordable Care Act enrollment ends on January 31.

If you are hesitating to enroll in the Affordable Care Act because you’re worried about paying expensive premiums on healthcare you won’t be able to access a few months down the road (if the ACA were to be repealed), the current conversation suggests that your ACA plan will remain active through 2017, regardless of what happens to the ACA in the meantime.

“They absolutely should sign up,” said Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms. Unless something drastic happens, she said, consumers should have coverage and, for those who qualify, help with premiums through the end of the year.

We don’t know for sure what will happen, but we do know that ACA enrollment is at record highs this year (which, let’s be honest, it hasn’t been around for that many years). We also know that the ACA is an expensive and imperfect system—I’ve complained about it more than once on The Billfold—but it’s literally kept people alive.

The paradox of Obamacare is that it is both unpopular and saves lives. Preliminary research suggests that it has already begun saving lives, but it’s too early to have robust data on the improvements to life expectancy among the additional 20 million people who have gained insurance. It is notable that an Urban Institute study found that on the eve of Obamacare’s start, lack of health insurance was killing one American every 24 minutes.

So if you haven’t yet signed up, you have until Tuesday.



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Nicole Dieker

Nicole Dieker

Freelance writer at Vox, Bankrate, Haven Life, & more. Author of The Biographies of Ordinary People.