Affordable Health Care Enrollment begins Wednesday

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act starts tomorrow.

People enrolling might have more problems this time following federal budget cuts.

Matthew Choi with our reporting partners at the Texas Tribune joined us on First News at Four Tuesday to talk about the changes.

In his article on the Texas Tribune he writes:
Two cuts in particular could have serious ramifications for Texans looking to register on the federal market. President Donald Trump in an executive order slashed subsidies for cost-share reductions, which finance cheaper premiums for low- and middle-income customers. Trump also decreased funding for outreach and advertising by 90 percent, leaving many Americans in the dark about how and when to register.

The enrollment period has also been shortened, ending this year on Dec. 15 rather than January as in the past. Though several states have extended enrollment periods on their state health care markets, Texas, which relies on the federal Healthcare.gov as a platform for the insurance marketplace, has not.

A recent U.S. Census report showed about 4.5 million Texans still do not have health insurance. Though the number has been shrinking, Texas still has the largest percentage of residents without insurance, with 16.6 percent uninsured in 2016 compared to about 8.8 percent nationally.

Read more of Matthew Choi's article at The Texas Tribune's website.
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