NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - It’s called the Affordable Care Act Insurance, Marketplace, or Obamacare.
By any name, the deadline to enroll is tomorrow.
That's something only one in four Americans are aware of according to a national poll.
There are theories behind the drop in the number of people signing up.
In years past, uninsured people stood in line to receive help with Marketplace insurance enrollment. This year, not so much.
“It's not as busy. I've just had a few people come in this year,” said Delia Pacheco, an insurance navigator for East Texas Community Health Center. “For people that I have helped, they have successfully re-enrolled without having to pay a premium out of pocket. Then there are some that the premium was just too much for the family to afford."
Sticker shock is a factor, but surveys show a lot of people just don't know time is running out.
“It’s not as long as period, and it’s during the holiday time,” said Anita Humphreys, interim CEO for the East Texas Community Health Center. “So both of those things are hindering people, new enrollees.”
For the first time, uninsured people will not be fined when 2018 tax time comes around. Based on national research, a good number are thinking why bother signing up at all?
“What they’re seeing was about an 8 percent decline in the enrollment in 2018," Humphreys said. “And they are anticipating even more than that in 2019 from the numbers coming in.”
Providers encourage coverage, but Humphreys said out-of-pocket discounts may be the better deal for both parties.
“Depending on the plans, depending on the co-pays, depending on the deductibles, the provider may or may not see a huge difference in their reimbursements versus a discounted cash situation with the consumer," Humphreys said.
As far as the East Texas Community Health Center, they want prospective patients to know they treat everyone, regardless if they have insurance or not.
If you want to learn more about Marketplace Insurance you may visit www.healthcare.gov for more information. The deadline, once again, is set for Saturday at midnight.