WASHINGTON, D.C.--If you don't already have health insurance, or if you need another plan, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says you could look at plan under ObamaCare, or the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment begins today.
Azar, a Hoosier and former Eli Lilly exec, says plans have gotten cheaper, and he credits Pres. Trump and getting rid of the tax, or the mandate that you buy insurance or pay a tax.
"We've been working to stabilize the market. These plans are still expensive. But, they may be the right choices for people. They ought to look."
He said premiums on the bench mark plan have come down about one and a half percent. He said choices are up for the first time since 2015.
"There may me short-term limited-duration plans available that could be 50 to 80 percent cheaper than ObamaCare plans," said Azar.
The Trump administration has taken some heat from critics, who say that ObamaCare plans have gone up.
"Some commentators predicted that would be the case and it just hasn't panned out," said Azar. "In Indiana the average rate change on the exchange for that solver plan is down two percent, consistent with the national average."
Azar said removing the penalty has helped free up the way the health care exchanges operate.
"The ObamaCare plans tend to draw in and keep the people for whom we're buying insurance, the people for whom we're subsidizing the buying of insurance," said Azar. "Those folks weren't buying that insurance in the first place. They were having us buy it. Secondly, they're not keeping that insurance because they had a gun to their head through the tax."
He said he believes that eliminating that mandate has freed people who could not afford the insurance. Azar also said he believes the health care exchanges have not been hurt because of it.