HealthCare.gov is the only guaranteed source for plans that cover services that North Carolinians need
RALEIGH (October 31, 2018) – North Carolinians who buy their own health insurance can shop around for 2019 coverage through HealthCare.gov during Open Enrollment, which runs from November 1 through December 15. Unlike in previous Open Enrollment periods, patients shopping for health insurance coverage may encounter new low-premium health policies, such as short-term health plans, sold outside of HealthCare.gov that do not comply with critical protections of the Affordable Care Act.
The Trump administration recently opened the floodgates for insurers to sell these so-called short-term health plans, which are bare-bones coverage policies that regularly discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. These plans offer minimal coverage, often leaving enrollees unable to access the care they need and leaving them vulnerable to major medical debt.
“North Carolinians must be vigilant, lest they be duped by these junk plans’ low premiums, only to later find their policy doesn’t cover what they need and leaves them stuck with huge medical bills,” said Brendan Riley, policy analyst for the NC Justice Center’s Health Advocacy Project. “Short-term health plans openly discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, exclude coverage for essential health benefits, and subject enrollees to grave financial risk in the event of an accident or illness.”
“HealthCare.gov is the only website that North Carolinians can rely on to shop for plans that cover services that patients need, like prescription drugs, preventive care, behavioral and mental health services, and substance use disorder treatment,” Riley said. “Nine out of 10 North Carolina enrollees qualify for financial help to afford their HealthCare.gov coverage.”
Despite the Trump administration slashing funding for in-person assistance to our state by 84 percent, Navigators and Certified Application Counselors are still here to help North Carolinians apply and enroll in health insurance coverage. Consumers can book free appointments with local expert assisters online at ncnavigator.net or by calling 1-855-733-3711 toll-free.
However, because of the cuts, help might be harder to come by for North Carolina consumers than in the past, so many individuals may need to shop around and enroll on their own. HealthCare.gov offers North Carolinians their best bet for comprehensive coverage without the loopholes and fine print.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Brendan Riley, email@example.com, 919.861.2074; Julia Hawes, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919.863.2406.