Arizonans will be able to purchase health insurance through the state’s insurance exchange next month, thanks to a federal waiver that was signed by President Donald Trump.
The waiver allows states to begin enrolling people on the exchange, which has more than 50,000 enrollees in the Arizona Health Care Exchange.
It will be up to the states to decide how they want to implement the waiver.
The Trump administration signed the waiver in the days before it was set to expire, allowing the federal government to waive any existing or future regulations for up to 180 days, according to a senior administration official.
The state will begin issuing notices to individuals on January 6 informing them of the waiver and giving them 30 days to enroll.
The state will also start accepting applications for individual and small group health insurance plans starting on January 10, the official said.
“I’m excited that we’re finally going to have health insurance that we can afford, so that people can get the health care they need,” said Arizonan Kristi Jones, a 30-year-old dental hygienist from Phoenix.
Jones said she doesn’t want to pay a lot of money, and she is not a patient and will not be purchasing insurance.
“But I do want to be able have the coverage that I need,” she said.
The president signed the bill into law in August.
It was the first major overhaul of the health insurance market since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010.
The new federal waiver, signed in March, was supposed to expire on March 31.
But Congress delayed the expiration for three weeks by delaying the end of the year.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the waiver would increase premiums for some people, but also help cover people who had no coverage for many years, the Congressional Budget Service said in a recent analysis.
It is unclear whether the state will still offer individual and group plans, but the state has already said it will begin offering small group plans in the next few weeks.