(NBC News) - Millions of Americans will get a chance to shop for health insurance through Obamacare's exchanges starting today — the fifth open enrollment period since the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2013.
But industry analysts and health experts are bracing for a bumpy ride, thanks in large part to changes by the Trump administration that are expected to sow uncertainty among customers while hiking premiums on some plans by large amounts (and lowering them for others).
Over 10 million people signed up for Obamacare plans during the last enrolment period. But the uninsured rate has ticked up in recent months for the first time since the law took effect.
Currently, 12.3 percent of adults in America do not have health insurance, according to Gallup, up from 10.9 percent last November but still well below the 18 percent rate in 2013 before Obamacare’s exchanges opened. While the reason for the uptick is unclear, Gallup speculates that uncertainty around the law since the election and rising premiums for customers who don't qualify for subsidies may be factors.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office expects 11 million people to enroll in 2018, according to a September estimate. But it also predicted premiums would be 15 percent higher thanks to uncertainty among insurers about how the law would be administered.
While enrollment doesn't begin until Wednesday, customers can already compare plans on Healthcare.gov, the federal site that handles enrollment in most states, or on their state's enrollment website if they have one.
Read more at NBCNews.
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