People all across America, including right here in Texoma, are getting ready for round two of the Affordable Care Act. The website will be back open for business on Saturday, November 15th.
"Last year was a well known disaster and the capacity was built for 1/5 of the people that actually got on there and tried to enroll," Tom Wilson, a Texoma Insurance Agent said.
However, they are hopeful this time around. They hope improvements made to the website will make it a smoother process for everyone.
One thing that has changed this year is the amount of time people will have to enroll.
"They've got a three month window," Wilson said.
So, when February 16th rolls around, the opportunity to enroll is gone.
One of the reasons Wilson thinks the time to enroll has been cut in half, is because six months was just too long. He said people have to be held responsible to purchase their health care plan.
Another change this year is the rates of the plans.
"The rates are going, from what I understand, are going to go up anywhere from 10, to 20, to 25-percent, depending, on a case by case basis," Wilson explained.
One of the issues Texomans are worried about is the system crashing like it did last year. However, some of them would rather sign up, then having to pay the fines. However, there are certain people that will not be fined because of their financial position.
Wilson said if you didn't have coverage last year, it's a good idea to get it.
"It's not for what you know is going to happen, "Wilson said, "It's for the unexpected."
Fines could also be another reason to get covered. If you didn't sign up last year, you could face a fine of either one-percent of your household income, or $95 per person ($47.50 per child under 18.) Next year, those fines will jump to two-percent of your household income, or $325 per person ($162.50 per child under 18.) Those fines will continue to increase. However, there are certain people that will not be fined because of their financial position.
Some good advice is you plan on signing up. Don't try to do it by yourself. Try to get help. Wilson said some of his clients from last year tried to do it themselves, but they regretted it because they ended up with a plan they didn't want. Another tip, is that insurance agents are expecting more people to enroll this year. So, if you plan on heading online, don't wait until the last minute.