Health exchange open enrollment deadline fast approaching

The Dec. 15 open enrollment deadline is closing in fast and despite reports that enrollment numbers are tracking with last year’s rate, the shortened enrollment period is cause for concern.

Even though South Dakota has had over 13,000 health plan enrollments as of Dec. 2, an additional 16,500 are needed by the Dec. 15 deadline in order to match last year’s total enrollment number of 29,622. Simply put, South Dakota is less than half way to reaching the same number of enrollments as in 2016 with roughly one week until the deadline.

The challenge this year is not only that the enrollment period is half as long as in 2016, but federal funding for advertising and outreach was also cut by 90%. To counter that, the Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas (CHAD) has partnered with community health centers and other health care groups across the state to let South Dakotans to get the word out about the looming deadline. CHAD has also purchased additional Facebook ads to promote that the enrollment period is drawing to a close.

A “full court press” is needed to get the word out that Dec. 15 is the deadline to enroll in a 2018 health plan or review an existing plan to ensure competitive prices and benefits. Please do what you can to spread the word.