Open enrollment for Obamacare health insurance is in full swing until the end of the year.
The Ector County Health Department tells Local 2/Fox 24 they urge residents to apply for coverage if they aren’t under a current plan, because thousands of Odessans are without any coverage at all.
“I can tell you that from 25% to 38% of the total population of Ector County is uninsured,” Health Department Director Gino Solla said.
That’s nearly 1/3 of the Ector County population.
Solla says since several health care providers have removed themselves from the Affordable Care Act marketplace, premiums have risen 25%-50%, but he doesn’t want that to scare people away.
“You may have to give up some luxuries like smoking, you may have to give up a 6-pack of beer here and there, but I think you can come up with the premiums to protect yourself and your family,” Solla said.
Marisol Vela with Project Amistad, an El Paso Nonprofit helping people sign up for the ACA, feels the discount incentives for families that qualify, with offset the higher premiums.
“It’s going to help the middle class families that are going to be able to have health insurance that will best fit them economically,” she said.
Vela tells Local 2/Fox 24 that families can’t afford not to have insurance because life in unpredictable.
“We don’t plan on getting sick, we don’t plan on having emergency situations but unfortunately it happens,” Vela said.
After you apply for coverage it takes effect on January 1st, 2017.