The final push to sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act is underway as the deadline approaches.
Enrollment is expected to be lower than in previous years, due to a shorter signup period of only 45 days, defunding Obamacare advertising and other cutbacks by the Trump administration.
Previously, Americans had until January to sign up for insurance on the federal marketplace, but this year’s enrollment has been shortened by 6 weeks, so it’s uncertain how this will impact the overall registration numbers.
Roughly 9 percent of Alabamians do not have insurance. New signups have until midnight Saturday to get insured.
Close to 84,000 Alabama children could also lose their health insurance at the beginning of February if Congress doesn’t renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, better known as CHIP. The health insurance program covers about 9 million children nationwide. Congress missed the Sept. 30 deadline to renew the program.
The government-funded program has picked up the full tab of $200 million for Alabama children over the past two years.
Without it, new enrollment into the program will be frozen on Jan 1, and the program defunded a month later on Feb 1 if Congress doesn’t take action.
ALL Kids, an Alabama based group that provides CHIP services, will begin mailing letters out to recipients the Dec 26 notifying them about the program's potential demise if congress fails to fund CHIP.