Shopping For Obamacare Opens To Mixed Reviews From Consumers

Enrollment for insurance through the Affordable Care Act runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15 for plans that start on Jan. 1, 2017.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell has her work cut out for her.

She has to convince millions of people who get their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchanges or who have no coverage at all that they should go online and shop for a good deal.

It’s a big challenge because Tuesday is the first day of open enrollment for Obamacare health insurance, and it comes just a week after HHS announced that the prices of policies sold on the exchanges would rise an average 22 percent for 2017.

What’s her biggest challenge? “Helping people focus on what the consumer pays because that’s the most important thing,” Burwell said in an interview with NPR on Oct. 26, “and that’s what consumers actually care about.”

But it’s not always easy to figure out what the consumer pays. That’s because the approximately 10 million people who buy policies through the Affordable Care Act can qualify for discounts on premiums and out of pocket expenses based on income.

“Eighty-five percent of those folks actually receive tax credits or subsidies and for them that insulates them from

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