Despite all the political rumblings, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is still going, and it’s time to get ready for 2018.
Here’s what you need to know for Obamacare Open Enrollment:
* Open Enrollment is November 1 to December 15. These dates apply to plans on the Obamacare Marketplace and those off the exchange. In the past it has extended into the new year, but not any longer. You have to get it done in this small window.
* Simple enrollment process. This year our enrollment platform will handle 100% of the enrollment process without having to take you into the cumbersome healthcare (dot) gov system. This will simplify and streamline things considerably for our Marketplace clients. Our off-Marketplace options are even more simple.
* Carrier changes. There are significant changes regarding carrier options for our clients in Georgia. BlueCross in Georgia will not be available to individual clients in metro Atlanta and most North Georgia counties. Current plans will be non-renewed. Please contact us to make a change!
In South Carolina there are no changes regarding carriers on or off the Marketplace.
* Prices are going up. In some cases, they are going WAY up.
In South Carolina, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you understand whether or not you will qualify for subsidies. There will be significant differences in the premiums you pay for plans on the Marketplace vs those that are off the Marketplace. If you don’t think you’ll get relief, you’ll definitely want to enroll off the Marketplace.
If you do qualify for subsidies, you won’t feel the impact of the price increases because the subsidies will increase with the price.
Prices are not yet available, but we’ll let you know when they are! When the time comes, you’ll find Marketplace prices here:
To get off-Marketplace prices, you’ll need to contact us.
* Do you have to re-enroll? In some cases, you can be “passively” re-enrolled in your current plan (assuming your income is also unchanged). But it’s best to have a look at other plans and options. In South Carolina, we expect to see a bronze plan with low copays that will be available for $0/month for most people receiving subsidies.
In Georgia, the exit of BCBS means most of our clients need to be proactive.
* There are alternatives outside of Obamacare. If you don’t qualify for subsidies, the price increases may be enough reason for you to consider other options (assuming you don’t have significant pre-existing conditions).
These alternatives to Obamacare include:
* Short-term health insurance. The Trump administration recently relaxed certain rules surrounding short-term health plans, making this a more attractive option for 2018. Learn more here.
* Christian health-sharing ministries. These are not for everyone, but some of our clients have been satisfied since signing up and have saved a lot of money. Learn more here.
Get on our calendar.
With Open Enrollment compressed to a very limited time frame (with a holiday thrown in!), our calendars will quickly get full. We urge you not to wait too long! Let’s set a time for us to talk about your situation and figure out the best option for you and your family in 2018.