Former President Obama is stumping for his signature healthcare law on the first day of open enrollment to remind viewers Obamacare's healthcare.gov website is "open for business right now."
"It only takes a few minutes, and the vast majority of people qualify for financial assistance," Obama said in a new ad Wednesday.
According to a report the Trump administration released last week, about 80 percent of healthcare.gov enrollees are expected to qualify for financial assistance from the federal government under Obamacare, and will pay about $75 a month for coverage.
"That's cheaper than a lot of cellphone plans," Obama said.
Today’s the day! You can go to https://t.co/p8DQwo89C7 and sign up for health coverage. Need a pep talk first? @BarackObama has you covered. pic.twitter.com/78DAFgUV77— Get America Covered (@GetUSCovered) November 1, 2017
Other Obamacare customers who purchase health insurance on their own, and often go directly through a broker or through insurers, do not receive government help to pay for premiums and many are facing premium increases in 2018. About 6.7 million people fall into this group, while about 8.7 million people currently receive financial assistance, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The unsubsidized group is facing increases of an average of 34 percent on mid-level plans, according to the consulting firm Avalere Health. Insurers have attributed a large share of the responsibility for the rise in premiums to President Trump's decision to end cost-sharing payments last month.
Obama did not mention those individuals in the video.
Not all customers will feel the impact of those premium increases the same way.
To deal with the changes, states moved some of the costs of their premiums around so they could charge the federal government more and make up for losses. In some cases, they selectively applied premium increases so that fewer unsubsidized people would be affected. Some states allowed unsubsidized customers to buy cheaper plans at different metal levels, like gold, or to buy outside of the exchange and directly through a broker or health insurance company at a lesser price.
Obama stayed away from discussing the Republican effort to repeal Obamacare in his video, or from discussing the rise in premiums. He touted Obamacare for making it illegal for insurers to charge people more, such as women for maternity care, and for prohibiting insurers from turning away customers with a pre-existing illness.
The video was posted by Get America Covered, a group founded by Obama administration veterans. The group formed in light of the Trump administration cutting funding on Obamacare's outreach and advertising programs.