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Funds to promote ACA slashed, enrollment window shortened

New York State

The Trump Administration is cutting funding to programs that promote the Affordable Care Act – by a lot. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a statement detailing major changes to budgets for advertising and grants to nonprofits that employ navigators to help people sign up for plans.

“It’s really bad for the nation. However, that said, it’s not so bad for New York,” said Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president for health initiatives at Community Service Society of New York, the largest navigator program in the state. “This advertising budget that the Trump Administration is slashing – and the navigator or enroller budget – is really for people using that federal marketplace.”

The budget cuts apply to any states using the federal exchange, healthcare.gov. States like New York that run their own marketplaces fund their own outreach and navigators at this point.

“The federal announcement actually does not impact New York state at all,” said Marci Natale, director of communications, outreach and marketing for New York State of Health.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also noted that the upcoming enrollment period will last 45 days shorter this year, going from November 1 to December 15. It is unclear whether New York will mirror this window or not.

“Open enrollment in New York state will start November 1, as it will everywhere else. We expect to make a decision soon as to when it will end,” Natale said.

In years past the enrollment window has ended on January 31.

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