Get your Obamacare now, folks

Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 12, 2015

Most people, if they are healthy, don’t like paying health insurance premiums and there is more than a little anger left from the Affordable Care Act, which requires most everyone to have health insurance.
The fact is, health care is costly even if you have health insurance, but without insurance, it can ruin a family or an individual financially. Nobody plans for a car crash or a sudden illness, but at some point, we all need medical care.
Therefore, we urge our readers who do not have health insurance to use the current open enrollment period to sign up under the Affordable Care Act for health insurance.
Because insurance provided through the Affordable Care Act varies in cost by age, income and coverage type, it is impossible to give a reliable estimate of cost, but we do know the average cost of a hospital stay in this state is $1,368, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. And even if you don’t need a hospital stay, medication alone can easily cost hundreds of dollars per prescription fill.
Before you sign up for health insurance, there are a few things to consider. First, there are two insurers to choose from—United Health Care and Humana. Second, there are three levels of insurance, with the priciest monthly premiums having the lowest out-of-pocket maximums. Finally, depending on income, some residents may be eligible for subsidies.
The government’s website,, is much improved since its disastrous rollout several years ago, and it provides much of this information easily and readily. There are also phone numbers listed for additional help.
Besides the website and its support staff, there are regional centers for information that are affiliated with the ACA. Read our story one page one for more information on that.
However, we are sorry to report that aside from a Nov. 10 seminar offered in Picayune at Highland Community Hospital, we are not aware of any other informational seminars scheduled locally. We hope one or two more will be organized by the close of the enrollment period, Jan. 31, 2016.

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