Sadness. Gratitude. Cautious optimism.

President Barack Obama delivered historic gains in health coverage. Under President Donald Trump, we must resolve to preserve them.

On this, the inauguration day of our 45th U.S. president, we will not mince words.

We will not conceal our sadness as we bid fond farewell to President Barack Obama, who made the expansion of access to comprehensive and affordable coverage a centerpiece of his domestic policy. Never before has a president fought so tirelessly for so long to deliver coverage to so many Americans.

With the hundreds of other health coverage advocacy groups – and the millions of Americans who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act – we offer our eternal gratitude and respect to President Barack Obama.

As we turn the page to a new chapter of American history, we are concerned and anxious that our new president, Donald Trump, will undo the gains of his predecessor. We frankly don’t know what to expect from this new president, whose messages about health reform have ranged from full condemnation of the ACA as a “disaster” to praise for – and some promises to preserve – some of the law’s signature provisions.

We have felt brief moments of hope in the president-elect’s pledges to not gut key pillars of the nation’s healthcare safety net, but we are leery. We are familiar with the characters who advise him and familiar with their ceaseless efforts to stall, obstruct and now reverse the ACA’s gains. We are all too familiar with their proposals.

Despite this concern we are cautiously optimistic – optimistic because Americans’ eyes have been opened during the past eight years. Millions more have seen the good that the law could do – and now, more than ever, we know that more Americans understand what they were missing in the good old days before Obamacare and how a Republican-controlled Congress – with President Trump’s signature – can move us quickly backward.

And we’re optimistic because the American public – including the public who have stood to gain the most from the law – now favor improvement of the law over repeal of the law. The law has never been more popular.

Obamacare’s architects have long predicted that once our citizenry could finally get its hands on affordable, comprehensive health coverage, the people would never let go. We hope and pray that they are correct – but we also know that hoping and praying isn’t enough.

Today is a new day. Today, we meet a new president. But today, our resolve and our determination to expand access and preserve qualify coverage must be as strong and steadfast as ever.

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.