The Individual and Family Health Insurance Open Enrollment begins Wednesday, 11/1/2017 and ends Friday, 1/12/2018. This will be the shortest open enrollment since the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) began in 2014. All current individual/family plans will end December 31st. To insure new coverage is in place for January 1st, enrollments need to be complete by December 15th.
With the headlines coming out of Washington, you may have questions about the latest developments – specifically, what the new Executive Orders mean for your individual coverage. Although the details are still be finalized, here is what we know:
- The law still requires all Americans to have ACA approved health insurance or be penalized.
- Financial assistance is available – Medicaid, Tax Credits, Cost Share Reductions. As certified brokers with Connect for Health, we can help you determine your assistance level. Those making up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level may qualify for assistance. For example, a family of 4 earning less than $98,400 may qualify.
- Your current ACA approved plan is good through the end of the year – provided premiums continue to be paid.
- Premiums are going up in 2018. If you qualify for tax credit or cost share reductions, those will go up as well to offset the increase. Premiums are determined by the insurance companies and the Colorado Department of Insurance in compliance with the Federal government and are based on the age and zip code of the individuals applying.
- Plans change. Insurance companies add and delete from their current offerings. Cigna Vantage will no longer be available, but Cigna Connect will remain in the expanded Denver area. Colorado Choice is now Friday Health Plans. Rocky Mountain Health Plans has been bought by United Healthcare and services the Western Slope. New plans and rates will be available to shop November 1st.
For those that have received their 2018 renewal premiums – meaning, the new rate if you keep the same plan – they are staggering! The increases are 25% – 45%. Leaving many Americans searching for lower premiums and alternatives.
If you are a small business owner with at least 1 unrelated w-2 employee, you can qualify for a group plan. Group rates are expected to be lower than individual rates for 2018. Group plans have a larger variety of plans and networks available – HMO and PPO. It could be a great time to start a group plan, and it is easier than you might think. Your employees will thank you.
We are here to help. As independent brokers, we can search from a range of options to help you find the plan that meets you/your families or your business insurance needs.