Open enrollment for ACA healthcare now open

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Now is the time to shop for your 2016 health care plans under the Affordable Care Act.

While costs are expected to rise, there’s some good news for Michigan residents.

6 News Neha Sheth has the full story.

If you need health coverage and would like a plan by the beginning of the new year, now is the time to enroll.

‘We are all growing older we all have ailments so you want to get that coverage before something happens to you,” said Dr. Farhan Bhatti, Care Free Medical.

In fact he says such benefits are translating into lower rates of the uninsured.

The New York Times mapped the uninsured across the country and here in mid-Michigan the rates are dropping. In Ingham County from 2014 to 2015, the rate dropped from 10 to 8 percent and in Livingston County, the uninsured rate dropped from 6 to 5 percent.

And while costs are expected to climb, there’s good news for Michigan residents who sign up through healthcare.gov.

“The national average is about 7 and a half percent premiums have gone up in the state of Michigan is about 1 and a half percent,” said Linda Vail, Ingham County Health Department.

And the reason behind that difference.

“There are about 15 issuers and 80-some qualified health plans per county in the state of Michigan.”

That compares to six issuers and 35 qualified plans per county on average across the nation.

But across the board, there are stiff consequences for those uninsured in 2016.

“The affordable care act made it law for everyone to have insurance so unless you have a qualified exception and there are penalties.”

Penalties that can cost the well-being of residents in mid-Michigan.

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