Open Enrollment is right around the corner, and decisions from the current administration have caused some changes in people’s Marketplace health insurance options. Consumers should know that the ACA is still the law. Health insurance is still available, and financial help is still available.
Here are 6 main things to know about changes from the current administration.
1. Shortened Enrollment Period: Nov. 1 – Dec. 15.
The Open Enrollment period has been reduced from three months to only six weeks. Uninsured consumers and those renewing their Marketplace coverage must complete their enrollment between November 1 and December 15, 2017. We do not expect any extensions to be granted.
2. New insurance rates in Pennsylvania are higher than expected.
Insurance premiums in PA will go up in average 30.6% in 2018, much higher than had been anticipated. This is directly a result of President Trump’s refusal to pay cost-sharing reductions last week and Congress’ inaction to appropriate funds. This increase should not impact most people who qualify for financial assistance because the financial assistance will get higher to protect people from these rate increases.
3. Plan options may change their out-of-pocket coverage.
It’s important that consumers actively return to the Marketplace, update their applications, and browse new plan options. Some additional rule changes will impact the amount of out-of-pocket costs covered under certain plans, so consumers should check how these changes might impact them.
4. Insurance companies can check on past unpaid premiums.
Insurers are now allowed to postpone new enrollment in health plans if a consumer has unpaid premium debt with the same insurer since June of this year. Consumers who think they may have this kind of debt should contact the insurer now to confirm the debt and discuss repayment. This issue will not impact people who enroll with a different insurer for 2018.
5. The Bottom Line: Be Proactive.
Returning enrollees should log into their Healthcare.gov accounts before November 1 to be sure their profile information is current and ensure they remember their passwords.
6. Learn More at our Info Sessions.
Consumers shopping the Marketplace for the first time should attend one of our new library educational sessions, ACA: Are You Eligible?” These free group events will teach consumers about eligibility guidelines, what documents to turn in, how to complete the application, and how to compare health plans. Check out our event calendar to find a session near you.