*****Update. This was fun. You have challenged me with great questions. And I hope everyone has a great holiday. Now, I have to run but others will keep answering your questions for a while and will come back and answer as many as possible. Thanks! Andy

PS You can see our answers to questions by clicking on our usernames (u/ASlavitt, u/llodes, u/Joshua_Peck, u/AislingMcD).

Glad to be joining a Reddit AMA on signing up for health insurance. There's a lot of confusion out there - yes, health insurance can be confusing - when it comes to Open Enrollment and signing up for coverage. And that confusion is even worse this year. That's why we wanted to do an AMA and it's why we started Get America Covered. To cut through the confusion and make sure people have the information they need to sign up for coverage or to renew their current health insurance.

There's only about two weeks left to sign up for coverage at HealthCare.gov - the final deadline is December 15. The majority of states use HealthCare.gov but if you live in California, New York or one of the other 10 states (including DC) that operates their own exchange you'll have a bit more time.

It can be hard to believe but health coverage really could be more affordable than you think. That's even more true this year than ever before. Because 8 out of 10 HealthCare.gov consumers qualify for financial help, most people can find plans for less than $75. In fact, 4.5 million uninsured can find health plans with zero premiums each month. Those plans aren't right for everybody but if you're debating whether you can afford health coverage this year, you should at least check out your options - you may be surprised.

It's important to note though that if you don't qualify for financial help - premiums have gone up. Depending on where you live, premiums have gone up a lot. We can go into the details as to why but we need to fix it and make sure that politicians can't continue to play politics with your health care.

So, let’s talk about signing up for health coverage. I'm joined today by Lori Lodes, u/llodes, and Josh Peck, u/Joshua_Peck, the co-founders of Get America Covered

Proof: https://twitter.com/ASlavitt/status/935595094861901830

Comments: 5362 • Responses: 28  • Date: 

chevyace42 karma

With the ineptitude of the Federal Government, why do you feel they can handle peoples Health Insurance better than the private market?

ASlavitt31 karma

The plans offered through the ACA are private coverage. Government basically only provides subsidies and defines some of the rules of the road. I would also say that when government does provide health coverage-- like with Medicare-- people love it-- often more than private insurance. 88% satisfaction rate.

HogSliceFurBottom27 karma

I can't work because of a stroke and bulging discs. I'm trying to get on disability and live in a state that does not subsidize insurance. Any options for someone in my situation?

ASlavitt45 karma

Every state offers financial help-- its a federal law and depends on your income. Check out the exchange both for that and to see if you might qualify for Medicaid.

thisisntpatrick9 karma

Mr. Slavitt, I'm a younger guy in Healthcare administration and I aspire to become an advocate for affordable and effective Healthcare. I've seen first hand how my organization changed to better serve patients based on CMMI programs. How can we keep this momentum going even though effective programs (ie BPCI) might be going away?

(Sidenote: Thank you for all you've done and your continued advocacy for improving healthcare in our country.)

ASlavitt3 karma

Thanks for your question and nice comment. You sound like you have a great career ahead of you. Places like CMMI need people like you, but so do states and big hospitals systems where the action happens. And that's how we will keep the momentum.

dengdafuq8 karma

Do you find the ACA to be a big accomplishment? We should have moved towards universal health care a while ago and the only reason we haven’t is money in politics. Everyone knows this so let’s stop pretending the ACA was a respectable endeavor. Universal healthcare (or at least a public option) would have been a nice policy goal for Obama but it was always out of the question because of special interests. I just can’t respect that.

ASlavitt4 karma

I think it was a step in the right direction. I've met many of the millions of families whose lives have been changed forever because of the ACA. We don't have to wait for perfect to improve things. The problem-- and where I agree with you-- is we have to keep making things better. And we haven't.

greatm317 karma

Hi Andy, what were Republicans saying off the record during the ACA repeal debate? Did they actually believe that the CBO reports about millions of people losing insurance was "fake news"? Did they care about all the letters from hospitals and insurance companies and governors? I guess I just want to understand how information trickles up to them, and how they choose what to believe.

ASlavitt4 karma

There is a surprising lack of knowledge on the Hill. Most members are not health care experts and they often do believe the talking points handed down to them by the Speaker or Majority leader. I think many didn't believe the CBO. Many care a lot about what they hear from constituents and hospitals, even more what they heard from their governors. Unfortunately, they are also concerned with donors who fund their races and their primary competition(which is often more conservative).

EasybakeovensAreSexy7 karma

What do you think of Elisabeth Rosenthal's book, An American sickness? And are there any books you'd recommend about American healthcare?

ASlavitt8 karma

I'm having coffee with her this afternoon. I love her book-- great work.

I would read anything by Atul Gawande.

slappythebeaver6 karma

Was the goal of the ACA to bridge the gap between what we had before and a single-payer system? What we have now is unsustainable regardless of whether or not the ACA is still "alive". Do you ever see the USA adopting a single-payer system?

ASlavitt3 karma

People use different terms: single payer, universal coverage, Medicare for All. They each mean something slightly different. I think we will end up with every American with access to affordable coverage. We have to.

Margra4 karma

Hi Andy!

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this AMA, but more importantly for continuing to fight for access to health care for all Americans.

I am a pediatric resident and see a lot of the underserved in my community. For those that don't know, CHIP and medicaid cover about half of all young children! But CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) expired 60 (SIXTY!) days ago, and I have heard very little push from congress to pass it anytime soon (aside from a GOP bill that rolled renewal in with healthcare cuts for others). I know some states have sent out notices to parents, and my state will start sending them out 2 days before Christmas. My questions are:

1.) CHIP has been a popular program, why has it not been renewed? Is it literally to use as a bargaining chip, or is there some opposition to the program or how it is run?

2.) What happens when CHIP expires to children who NEED to see their provider, either because of their chronic conditions (such as chemotherapy appointments) or because they become acutely ill? Is there a sense that CHIP retroactively cover these services once passed?

ASlavitt12 karma

The current plan is for the Congress to try to shove a CHIP reauthorization in the continuing budget resolution in the next two weeks. If they put the version in that the House passed, however, it has some bad elements. I do believe CHIP will end up getting passed in some form or another after we put 9 million kids and their families through a nightmarish game of political football.