More than 2.1 million Americans -- including 68,192 Illinoisans -- selected health insurance plans through the Obamacare exchange since open enrollment began
"People are trying to get coverage while they can," said
The numbers were released a day after President-elect
In the meantime, many
Americans have until
"If I were hit by a car or what have you, I wouldn't want to compromise my entire financial future, which I've worked very hard to try to secure for many years," said Holden, 55.
He's not sure whether he'll buy a plan on or off the exchange -- though he imagines both will be affected by an Obamacare repeal. The uncertainty is grating, he said, but not enough to stop him from securing health insurance. Under Obamacare, all Americans must get insurance or pay a penalty.
"It just adds another level of aggravation to the process, going through all this work this year and not knowing what we'll face a year from now," Holden said.
Some experts have speculated that any plan to repeal and replace Obamacare would include a transition period away from the law. Even with a transition period, however, insurers might choose to leave the exchanges if the Trump administration cuts off funding for certain provisions of the law,
Many consumers already have spent hours trying to find the best exchange coverage for their families -- a task made more difficult this year by reduced choices and higher prices.
For next year, no exchange plan includes
Corlette said it's common across the country to see academic medical centers left out of exchange plans. Exchange shoppers tend to be very price-conscious, so insurers are trying to keep premiums for those plans low. One way to do that is by excluding academic medical centers, which often charge higher rates for services than other types of providers, Corlette said. Consumers who must go to an academic medical center for a specific service or specialist can ask insurers if they can make an exception or they can go to their state departments of insurance to see if they can compel coverage in some cases, she said.
The slimmed-down networks, paired with higher prices, have made shopping more confusing this year, said
At this point, she said in an email she's "hoping and praying" it will all work out.
"I tell people their job is to get through 2017," said Slayton, who runs a brokerage agency in
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