Obamacare Update: Open Enrollment 2019 Ends Today, But is Obamacare Insurance Still in Effect, Available?

A conservative federal judge has just ruled the U.S. Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare unconstitutional and today, ironically or not, is the sign-up deadline for 2019 coverage. In other words, today (December 15, 2018), is the last day to sign up for Obamacare health insurance if you want coverage in the coming year.

But there is undoubtedly confusion about today's sign-up deadline and Obamacare health insurance for 2018 after U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor ruled late Friday in Texas that last year's tax bill cut from the U.S. Senate removed the constitutional foundation from the Affordable Care Act, making it unconstitutional. That doesn't mean Obamacare coverage is now over, however. In fact, you can still sign up by today's deadline, according to the federal government.

The government's Obamacare enrollment platform, HealthCare.gov, has a statement on the site Saturday morning, on the last day for enrollment, that says "Court's decision does not affect this season's open enrollment." Online enrollments must be completed by midnight tonight.

President Donald Trump celebrated the ruling since he has been an advocate for Obamacare appeal since taking office.

"As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster!" Trump tweeted. "Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions."

But many Americans were left wondering if they will have health insurance or not and if they can or should sign up by today's deadline for 2019 coverage. Some 20 million Americans have obtained health insurance through Obamacare since it was put into place in 2010. Already, interest in Obamacare coverage was dwindling approaching today's deadline, likely for several reasons, including less federal money spent to market the program, more people going back to work and obtaining employer insurance, and doubt about the program.

Still, Obamacare remains in place and health care coverage can be obtained by most people for 2019 if they sign up before today's deadline comes to an end. Also, the judge's ruling is not expected to impact coverage for those signed up for the program until the Affordable Care Act case reaches the Supreme Court again, according to the Associated Press.

"The recent federal court decision is still moving through the courts, and the exchanges are still open for business and we will continue with open enrollment. There is no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan," said Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversees those insurance exchanges, in a tweet made after the judge's ruling.