August 25, 2017
Changes to open enrollment period for 2018 are coming!
If you or someone you know is looking to sign up for health insurance next year under the Affordable Care Act, it’s time to start thinking about it now. That’s because President Trump is cutting the open enrollment period for market place plans in half from 90 to 45 days. Now, anyone looking to enroll will only have the opportunity to purchase insurance November 1–December 15*.
If you are looking to purchase health insurance for 2018, it is important to keep this new timeline in mind so you can still access preventive screenings and early detection services.
Some states may have longer enrollment periods; to see your state’s open enrollment period and insurance plans, use this tool. You don’t want to be caught without coverage next year!
*This will only apply to states that do not manage their own market places. Several states, including Colorado, California, the District of Columbia, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Washington, do manage their own market places and have set their own open enrollment period (which differs from the new federal timeframe).
Sen. Lamar Alexander seeks to stabilize insurance markets
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee, announced two hearings for September 6 and 7 to discuss solutions to stabilize individual insurance markets. Currently, 18 million Americans do not have insurance coverage through their employers, driving them to the market places established by the Affordable Care Act to purchase coverage. With uncertainty regarding the future of health care, insurers are limiting the plans they offer in the market places.
Exacerbating these concerns, President Trump has not yet confirmed that he will continue cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) payments to insurers, which they use to help offset costs of premiums for millions of Americans seeking coverage. Sen. Alexander has called for President Trump to maintain these payments to ensure people across the country can afford their insurance. Sen. Alexander is partnering with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the ranking Democrat in the HELP committee, to find a bi-partisan solution before insurers finalize their plans and premiums by September 27.
Rally for Medical Research Day
On Thursday, September 14, hundreds of national health organizations, advocates, patients and doctors will gather on Capitol Hill for the Rally for Medical Research Day. As the world’s leading supporter of medical research, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) needs support and funding from Congress. These funds could improve support for research projects that offer more progress, more hope and more lives saved.
If you are planning to be in the Washington, D.C. area and would like to participate, or if you would like to set up a visit to your member’s district office, we are happy to help! Your senators and representatives need to hear from YOU about the importance of medical research funding.
For questions regarding the Rally for Medical Research or meeting with your senators and representatives, contact Taylor Patton, Director of Policy and Advocacy.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation Advocacy Toolkit provides a guide to scheduling meetings, as well as tips for how to speak with your members and their staff.
If your children are between ages 11-12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for both boys and girls. Almost all cervical cancers and at least five other cancers are linked to HPV.
If your child has missed the vaccine, don’t worry—young women can get a catch-up HPV vaccine until age 26 and most young men can get it until age 21. Talk to your health care professional to get a catch-up immunization schedule and discuss options to get back on track.
To learn more about the link between viruses and cancer, visit thinkaboutthelink.org.