4 facts you need to know about this year's open enrollment...

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ACA Open Enrollment has started! Are you ready?  Do you know your health insurance basics?  

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be breaking down everything you ever wanted to know (and probably a lot you didn’t) about health insurance in the US, and show you where to find out more about your state.

If you don’t have insurance or already have insurance through the open exchanges then you - yes, YOU - need to be sure to sign up or shop around during open enrollment!  

First we thought we’d give you a brief overview of 4 facts that are important for the upcoming enrollment - and dispel a couple rumors that seem to be proliferating everywhere.

1. Open enrollment runs from November 1st to December 15th*.

First, we should note this is shorter than last year’s enrollment period. To compound this problem - Healthcare.gov will be unavailable on every Sunday (EXCEPT December 10th) for 12 hours. Don’t despair! But that does mean that if you love to procrastinate - this isn’t the time for that. GET IT TOGETHER!

*Many states that aren’t on the national exchange through healthcare.gov have enrollment periods that are the same as last year, or have extensions through to January 15th - if you qualify. Find out if your state has it’s own exchange or belongs to the national exchange here.

2. Yes, some premiums did increase for some plans BUT that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a plan you can afford… in fact there are now MORE free health plans

The Bad News: If you aren’t eligible for federal subsidies and get your insurance through the ACA - you’re likely to see premium increases between 17-35%. BUT for many of you, that rate hike might be as low as $1 - $50 a month.

The GREAT News: If you ARE eligible for federal subsidies - the premium tax credits are going to be more generous BECAUSE of the rate hikes that most states attached to the silver plans (the lowest priced plans). Tax credits are increasing an estimated 45%. Most plans will be similarly priced with infinitesimal increases but because of the tax credit increases many will be able to get their insurance for cheaper - especially if you shop around. Many bronze and gold level plans will be cheaper or even free due to the tax credits.

We should also note that over 83% of those who currently get their insurance from the ACA marketplace are eligible for these tax credits.

Head over to healthcare.gov and use their calculator to see if you’re eligible and how much you’ll save.

 

3. There will still be a tax penalty if you do not have health insurance in 2018.

This means that even if (and that’s a big if) the individual mandate (tax penalty) were repealed - when you pay your taxes in 2019, you’ll owe the penalty. This year the tax penalty is 2.5% of your family’s adjusted gross income OR $697 for each adult and $347 for each child with a maximum of $2,085 - WHICHEVER IS HIGHER. Re-read that sentence and commit it to memory; it’s whichever is HIGHER... and that cost will likely increase in the future.

4. Even if the ACA is repealed - every plan has had wind-down periods written into the legislation.

Even if the ACA were repealed in 2018 - it would not affect your 2018 plan and coverage.

(We're cautiously optimistic that any further attempts to repeal will be just as much of a failure as the previous attempts this year)

SO GET COVERED.  

Now - help us help you! Send us your questions! We want to know what YOU want to know! We want to help cover the topics that you need more information on!

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What should we call you? You can use an alias - get creative.
If you feel like you want to prepare us for what you have planned.
This is the part where you ask the questions that are keeping you up late at night... Like what is a cost sharing plan?
Tanith Broom