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More people eligible for subsidies as open enrollment begins for Obamacare

"open enrollment" by MedicareMall.com

It’s open enrollment season, which means many people have until Jan. 15, 2023, to choose a health insurance plan for the following calendar year.

Anyone who doesn’t get health insurance through their employer or a public program like Medicare or Medicaid can pick an insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

While open enrollment runs through Jan. 15, the deadline is Dec. 15 for coverage to begin on Jan. 1.

Prices vary based on income, age and the type of plan. For example, coverage starts at $69 per month for a 25-year-old making $30,000 a year for the cheapest middle-tier Silver plan.

For a 50-year-old making $60,000 a year, premiums start at $423 per month.

Both examples include subsidies.

More people are eligible for Obamacare subsidies than have been in the past. Previously, only people making between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level were eligible.

Now through 2025, there is no upper-income cutoff. Instead, subsidies are available for anyone who would otherwise have to pay more than 8.5% of their household income for the Silver plan.

But data from the University of North Carolina’s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research shows that many more people in North Carolina are eligible for those subsidies than are taking advantage of them.

In Mecklenburg County, only 79% of those that are eligible for subsidies and making less than 200% of the federal poverty level are enrolled.

More information and an enrollment application can be found at https://www.healthcare.gov/.

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