More people in Central Texas sought help getting health insurance through the Affordable Care Act during the first week of open enrollment this year than during the same period last year, according to a group that helps people get plans.
Open enrollment for insurance through the ACA, also known as Obamacare, began Nov. 1. Kori Hattemer, director of financial programs for Foundation Communities, said more than 1,050 people have come to her group to sign up through HealthCare.gov since last Thursday. That's a 22 percent increase compared to last year.
She says it's a little surprising because the federal government has been spending less money on getting the word out about Obamacare enrollment.
“With all the confusion around the Affordable Care Act out there right now, we were really worried that not that many people would come in this year,” Hattemer said. “In the first week we haven’t seen that to be the case.”
Hattemer said options and prices in the Obamacare marketplace are similar to last year's. A lot of people qualify for financial assistance, she said, bringing down the out-of-pocket costs.
“When we looked for each consumer, what we were seeing for each one is that they are really happy with the plan prices and options that they were seeing," she said.
Healthcare.gov is the only marketplace with required protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
The six-week sign-up period runs through Dec. 15.