Enrollment numbers down for individual marketplace

NOW: Enrollment numbers down for individual marketplace

John Docter says he knew he needed help finding insurance when he moved from a large company to a small business.

“If you don’t have it at work, you’re going to have to get it through the Affordable Care Act, and find someone that knows how to navigate the system.”

Doctor went to Wisconsin Health Insurance Advocate for advice. Agent Mary Fenner says it’s important to know that cheaper plans can actually be better for you.

“They might have a way lower deductible and a way lower maximum out of pocket,” Fenner said.

Fenner says her business is about the same, but less people are enrolling in Wisconsin and nation wide,  partly because there’s no penalty for being uninsured.

“There’s many people who aren’t going to get insurance because they don’t have that penalty.”

A November Kaiser Foundation poll found only 1 in 4 people without workplace insurance know the deadline to enroll.

Marquette Health policy researcher Lisa Grabert says numbers are down because the trump administration is using less resources to advertise the marketplace, and more people are getting insurance through employers.

“The economy is better, so more people have moved out of private health exchanges, and moved into the employer sponsored market because more people have jobs. Unemployment is lower.”

Docter says finding a plan wasn’t the problem, it was having to get a new primary care doctor.

“Some doctors chose not to accept it. Some do. You just find another doctor who accepts it and go to them.”

Several locations in the Milwaukee area offer in-person assistance to find a plan that works for you. You can find them here.

You can reach Wisconsin Health Insurance Advocate at (414) 797-3408.

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