The challenge to Obamacare has arrived.

The Affordable Care Act delivered coverage to more than 22 million Americans. If you appreciate those gains, it's time to raise your voice.

'Ryan’s playing us all for fools in an effort to drum up support for his own version of health care reform.' – Louise Norris

“Ryan’s playing us all for fools in an effort to drum up support for his own version of health care reform.” – Louise Norris

If supporters of the Affordable Care Act had any doubt whatsoever whether President Donald Trump would move quickly on his pledge to repeal the law immediately, he removed all doubt on his first day in office.

Within hours of taking office as the nation’s 45th president, Donald Trump signed a multi-part executive order aimed at dismantling Obamacare. As described by Larry Levitt, vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, the order “directs federal agencies to start taking steps to use their administrative authority to unwind the ACA in all sorts of ways.

“This is a signal that the Trump administration is not waiting for Congress to start making big changes,” Levitt said.

What happens now?

And while that’s a clear expression of the president’s intent to follow through on his promise, the order’s implications are not completely clear. As Sarah Kliff at Vox notes, the executive action “sets up a long, drawn-out process to change the law’s rules – a unwinding process that takes time. And there are still major limits to how much Trump can do before Congress acts.

What does it mean for consumers? Nothing concrete for now. It’s not a reason to not buy coverage and it’s no reason for eligible consumers to expect that the law’s subsidies will vanish immediately. As we’ve pointed out previously:

  1. Even with a move to repeal and replace Obamacare starting in 2017, it’s unlikely that repeal would have an effective date in 2017.
  2. Subsidies – including premium subsidies and cost-sharing subsidies – are still available. And even if legislation to repeal subsidies passes in 2017, it’s unlikely any changes would take place before 2019.

But it is a glaring reminder that right now, ACA’s coverage gains are threatened. The law is in the crosshairs of health reform critics who have tried to repeal it more than 60 times – and their plans to unravel the law have been put in motion. We know what the Republicans who have pledged to repeal are promising – and that if they’re successful, we’ll get another taste of the good old days before Obamacare.

Time is of the essence. If you share our appreciation for those gains – maybe you or someone you love has benefited from the ACA already – we hope you’ll consider sharing that appreciation and joining us in the fight to #SavetheACA.

Everything you need to know is right here.

We’re in the (open enrollment) stretch

There are less than two weeks remaining in open enrollment – the only opportunity you’ll have to enroll in ACA-compliant individual coverage for 2017, including on-exchange and off-exchange – unless you have a qualifying event. It’s the best time for you to enroll for a long list of reasons.

Still trying to figure what kind of coverage is available in your area – or whether you’ll be able to can find affordable coverage? We’ve got all of the tools you need right here:

Need more information about enrolling? We’ve got an entire guide devoted to open enrollment. It’s loaded with information to help you make wise insurance-buying decisions – and it’s a quick read.

Obamacare – and other options

We’re big fans of the Affordable Care Act and what it’s done to improve access to affordable coverage. We know that the law has delivered health insurance for millions who were unable to find affordable coverage on the individual market in the past. And – if at all possible – we strongly encourage our readers to take advantage of the comprehensive ACA-compliant coverage the law has provided.

At the same time, we do recognize that there is a segment of the individual market population that is facing daunting rate increases. We realize that their coverage options may be limited – at least for 2017 coverage.

To those consumers facing high premiums – perhaps because they’re in the coverage gap or their incomes make them ineligible for subsidies – we still would emphasize that some health coverage is always better than no coverage. The good news: there’s a wide range of short-term health coverage available that could provide a temporary safety net until you can find less expensive comprehensive coverage.

About us: your guide to individual and family health insurance

At healthinsurance.org, we don’t sell insurance, but we do partner with qualified call centers staffed with agents who are both licensed in your state and exchange-certified. These partnerships also allow us to deliver health insurance quotes quickly and easily.

Since 1994, this site has been a guide for consumers seeking straightforward explanations about the workings of individual health insurance – also known as medical insurance – and help finding affordable coverage.

The topic of insurance can be confusing, but we’re here with more information than ever: educational articles, expert health policy analysisfrequently asked questions about reform, a health insurance glossary, and guides to the healthcare marketplaces and other insurance resources in each state.

Don’t hesitate to let us know if you hit a snag in the process – or if you’re stumped by a question about health coverage. Of course, we’d also love to hear about your success in getting coverage and quality healthcare.

But today, with the complexities of premium subsidies, cost-sharing subsidies, penalties – and now qualifying events and special enrollment periods – it’s a smart move to talk to a professional who can help minimize your cost and maximize your benefits, and save you research time. Call 1-877-809-0501 to get free assistance.

Open Enrollment 2017

What: The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) open enrollment period for 2017 coverage.
When: November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017
Where: Right here at healthinsurance.org
How: Get free health insurance quotes online or call toll free 1-844-337-4826

Special dates to take note of:

  • December 19, 2016: The deadline to enroll in plans and have coverage effective January 1, 2017 was extended to this Dec. 19 in all but five states and DC. If you buy after the extended deadlines, you may need a short-term health insurance plan to bridge the gap to your 2017 coverage.
  • January 1, 2017: 2017 coverage starts for those who enrolled or changed plans by the deadlines mentioned in the previous paragraph.
  • January 31, 2017: The last day to enroll in or change a 2017 health plan. After this date, you need to qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.