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Albemarle County Residents Worried of Rising Health Insurance Costs Under ACA

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Andrew and Susie Foss Andrew and Susie Foss
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

People across central Virginia are in shock and worried for their future.

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act in 2018 just opened Wednesday, Nov. 1, and already people say rates are jumping up thousands of dollars.

NBC29 has had many phone calls and emails in the past day from concerned viewers about the health care rates. In Charlottesville and Albemarle, some increases are as high as 266 percent.

“If the only plan you put up is one that's completely beyond people's ability to afford; how can you expect people to pay that?" Andrew Foss said.

People in Albemarle County say the ACA is not looking affordable in 2018.

"What we were already paying was about the limit of what an ordinary person could afford. They want us to pay $3,500 a month for a premium with a $14,400 deductible," Foss said.

Some providers have pulled out of the ACA. Anthem is not offering coverage in many portions of Virginia, including the Charlottesville-Albemarle area, leaving fewer health insurers to charge higher rates.

"I think we're at a real serious crisis here that's gonna kind of blow up in the next few days," Susan Foss said.

"What unfortunately is happening in Washington is rather than fix a problem that we now experience, they're letting the ACA fall apart on its own," Fifty-seventh District Del. David Toscano (D) said.

Toscano says the problem cannot be fixed in Virginia since it is a federal issue, but you can make sure your voice is heard.

"People need to take their anger and talk to their Congress person and say 'Look, in America we fix problems. We don't let them fester and we don't let them fall apart,'" Toscano said.

Others in the county are urging caution when looking at an alternative health care plan, because it may be a fraud.

"The first thing they ask is how much money can you afford to pay? Well that should be something you should really look out for because they don't pay for anything," Donna Tomlin, county resident, said.

Many fear with few options on the table, not much of a choice remains.

"I'm probably going to have to pay it. What else can you do?" Tomlin said.

People may not be aware of this but if you do not buy health insurance, you may have to pay a fine when you file your taxes. Also, people have only half the time to make a decision this year.

Open enrollment for the ACA ends on Dec. 15.