ACA Open Enrollment rolls out with changes

Open Enrollment begins but will last only half as long as previous years. (Image: WTVC)

Despite months of attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, 2018 Open Enrollment is here.

Beginning today, the public will have 45 days to sign up and re-enroll in healthcare under the Affordable Care Act.

Experts say changes to the system are likely to affect the number of people enrolling this year.

Healthcare Navigator, Katherlyn Geter, says a major change people will see this year is that the enrollment period is "shorter, it's only 45 days."

For Geter and other Healthcare Navigators, that's a challenge, "because we kind of got used to having at least that extra month in the new year to complete enrollment."

If you didn't know Open Enrollment began today, that might have something to do with the second change.

"We're also seeing that 90% of the funding was cut to advertise the ACA," says Dr. Danielle Mitchell.

Mitchell is a small business owner and is therefore covered under the ACA.

The physician also has her foot in politics as she is running against incumbent Chuck Fleischmann to represent Tennessee's 3rd District in the House of Representatives.

Mitchell is running on a healthcare platform and says these changes to Open Enrollment are "political sabotage."

"You can't call something a failure if you were there poisoning the water from the very beginning and this is a water system that a lot of Tennesseans drink from," Mitchell says.

While speaking with NewsChannel 9 on Wednesday morning, Rep. Fleischmann said he believes the public "knows enough" to properly participate in Open Enrollment.

Mitchell calls that claim "an absolute denial of what the actual reality of the situation is."

The last day to enroll in the ACA for 2018 is December 15th.

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