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Consumers mull options as health law drama fades
House Speaker: Obamacare will be law of land for 'foreseeable future'
W health care
This Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 photo shows the website, where people can buy health insurance, displayed on a laptop computer screen in Washington. Millions of Americans will still need to navigate the current federal health care system in the coming months no matter what happens in Congress - whether the Republican plan to replace Obamacare is resurrected in some form after it was pulled on Friday or if it never comes back. - photo by Associated Press
As the political drama over health care legislation in Washington fades, the rest of the country faces a more immediate concern: Getting insurance for next year.The Republican health plan designed to replace the Obama-era health law known as the Affordable Care Act would not have taken full effect for a few years anyway — and now it's dead."We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future," House Speaker Paul Ryan said Friday.That means millions of Americans will have to navigate a current federal health care system that, while not "imploding" as President Donald J. Trump has said, is at least in flux.Mary Vavrik, a 57-year-old freelance deposition court reporter from Anchorage, Alaska said she was relieved that the current health law will remain because she's happy with the coverage she gets through her exchange — even as she acknowledged that reforms are needed."It's not a perfect plan but I'm really grateful to have what I do have," she said.Prices for insurance plans offered on the public insurance exchanges set up by the health care law have soared in many markets, and choices for customers have dwindled. That's because insurers have faced sizable financial losses on the exchanges in recent years, and have responded by either hiking prices or pulling out of certain markets altogether.Now, attention will turn to administrative changes underway in Washington designed to stabilize the exchanges by preventing more insurer defections.The open enrollment period to sign up for insurance for 2018 is slated to start this fall, but insurers are making decisions now about whether to participate. What kinds of plans will be available and how much they will cost will depend on a few key decisions by insurers and regulators in the coming weeks.WILL I HAVE PLANS TO CHOOSE FROM?It depends on where you live.
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