Healthcare Alert: Obamacare open enrollment ends today

Obamacare ends on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, at 11:59 p.m

The open enrollment for Obamacare ends on today Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, at 11:59 p.m.

Enrollment is up on the exchange from this time last year, but many people might not know that the enrollment period is coming to an end.

The Trump administration cut the open enrollment season in half, which means people who don’t know might sign on to the government website tomorrow only to find that they can’t enroll.

There are some exceptions, of course. Hurricane victims, like those in Florida who were affected by Hurricane Irma, will be able to sign up through the end of the year.

But for the rest of the country, today is the last day to get Obamacare.

Too many people still don’t know about the new period

The insurance marketplace said this week that over half of people who shop online for health insurance don’t know that the open enrollment is ending. In fact, 56 percent of those people had no idea that Friday was the last day they could sign up.

A lot of this confusion and ignorance is due to Donald Trump’s administration. The administration put an end to television ads for Obamacare enrollment, and according to the marketplace, that was where most people got their information from.

The marketplace is still trying to let people know that time is running out, of course. They have sent out multiple emails and let consumers know daily that this is the end of open enrollment. But without the TV ads, many consumers simply won’t know the truth until it’s too late.

The exception

Thankfully, for states that have their own exchanges, consumers have more time. For example, Maryland has extended their signup times to Dec. 22 specifically to accommodate the rush of end-of-year latecomers.

“While enrollments have been very strong so far this year, we want to ensure that everyone in Maryland in need of 2018 health coverage has additional time to shop and enroll,” said Howard Haft, interim executive director for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange.

For the rest of the nation, though, be aware: Today is the last day of open enrollment. So if you still need to sign up for health care, now is the time!