PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, as open enrollment begins for consumers to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is encouraging Rhode Islanders to understand their options and select a plan that best fits their needs.
Despite the fact that the Trump Administration has sought to undermine the Affordable Care Act at every turn, the Rhode Island 2020 rates for individual market plans had an overall average decrease compared to rates last year.
During open enrollment, which starts today and runs through December 31, eligible Rhode Islanders have several options to enroll or renew their health insurance coverage for the 2020 calendar year, including: online at www.healthsourceri.com; over the phone at 1-855-840-HSRI; in person at the HealthSource RI Walk-In Center (401 Wampanoag Trail, East Providence); or one-on-one in their community by calling 211 to find help nearby.
About 34,000 Rhode Island residents currently have coverage through HealthSource RI. Over 80 percent of them get a federal tax credit to help with the costs of insurance.
“Choosing right health insurance coverage can be complicated, but HealthSource RI provides helpful tools online, over the phone, or through face-to-face personal assistance to help you navigate the health care system. I encourage all Rhode Islanders to shop around, compare prices and benefits, and get the coverage that best meets their needs,” said Senator Reed. “When people have access to health insurance, they have a chance to lead healthier, more productive lives. If people don’t have insurance, they still get sick, they just can’t afford to pay. So it is in everyone’s interest to ensure that all Americans have affordable coverage they can rely on. Access to preventive care can go a long way to reducing overall medical costs both for individuals and our communities. So don’t delay, enroll today.”
The ACA does more than just help 34,000 Rhode Islanders get health care, it provides federal protections for all Americans with pre-existing conditions (including 443,900 Rhode Islanders who live with a pre-existing condition, according to the Center for American Progress). Senator Reed says the Trump Administration must not repeal the law and allow insurance companies to turn away patients with pre-existing conditions, charge them higher premiums, or exclude coverage for the medical services they need.
The effort to encourage Rhode Islanders to get affordable health coverage comes on the heels of the Trump administration slashing the advertising budget for the ACA and backing so-called “junk plans” that don’t cover essential health benefits - such as maternity care, mental and behavioral health treatment, and pre-existing conditions - and could place caps and lifetime limits on policies.
Since its inception in 2013, HealthSource RI has helped to cut Rhode Island’s uninsured rate by two-thirds. Today, 96 percent of Rhode Island residents have health coverage.