Health advocates encouraging people to enroll in ACA, despite GOP efforts to repeal

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As open enrollment begins for the Affordable Care Act’s fifth year, one group that advocates for communities’ access to healthcare said it’s been a quiet start. The group’s board president adds it’s likely because of the Republican Party’s crusade against the law this year.

“Repeal and replace” have been the words the GOP has said over and over about the ACA, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

President Donald Trump even tweeted about his desire to repeal Wednesday, specifically referring to the ACA’s individual mandate. This comes a month after he announced plans to scrap the law’s subsidies.

Nayamin Martinez, board president for the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, said despite all that’s been said, “no changes have been made.” She adds the ACA is still the law.

Because of that, she asserts, Californians need to remember to explore their options, especially since some insurers have pulled out of the marketplace.

“We are encouraging people to contact Covered California to insure that the plan they enrolled into is available still, and if not what other options they have,” Martinez said.

Many are predicting premiums to rise significantly in 2018, but Martinez said some people can still save. The only way to know is to check.

“[You could even] qualify for lower rates,” she said.

Even if the law is repealed, Martinez assures people they’ll still be covered for at least a year.

While many states have their open enrollment period ending Dec. 15, California’s doesn’t end until January.

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