2017 Obamacare Oklahoma: Costs, eligibility, deadlines and more

2017 Obamacare Oklahoma: Costs, eligibility, deadlines and more
Source: AP
Source: AP

Affordable Care Act premiums in Oklahoma will rise an average of 76% this year, according to local NBC affiliate KFOR — by far the highest jump of any state in the nation.

In October, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, the only health insurer on the federal exchange in the state, said in a statement that it must "raise rates to meet the demand of increasing costs."

John Doak, Oklahoma's insurance commissioner, said in a press release that "Oklahoma's exchange is on life support."

But the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services countered that tax credits will help offset the rate increase for individual plans, and that premiums for those with employer coverage in the state have "grown at some of the slowest rates on record since the Affordable Care Act was enacted."

John Doak, Oklahoma's insurance commissioner
Source: Sue Ogrocki/AP

Congressional Republicans, emboldened by the election of Donald Trump, are already working to repeal the Affordable Care Act — though replacing it will likely prove to be a complex political headache. 

Any changes to the law will take a year or more to implement, and there is no risk that your policy will be canceled in 2017, according to Consumer Reports, so those interested in enrolling in a plan still can.

Who is eligible for Obamacare?

Any non-incarcerated U.S. citizens or nationals who are not already receiving coverage through Medicare are eligible for the Affordable Care Act. The personal mandate does not apply to citizens who live outside the U.S. more than 330 days per year, but they can still purchase a plan through the federal exchange.

How to enroll in Obamacare

The open enrollment period for this year began Nov. 1, 2016, and runs until Jan. 31, 2017. 

Those who have had certain life events, such as losing employer coverage or getting married, may still be able to sign up for 2017 coverage after Jan. 31 under a special enrollment period

To enroll, visit healthcare.gov. For free, in-person assistance from a certified insurance "navigator" in Oklahoma, go here