Open Enrollment for individual health insurance plans runs from November 1st to December 15th. No need for alarm – you can do this! And we’re here to help.
As you’ve probably heard, there have been some changes to some of the rules regarding the Affordable Care Act. But most of it remains unchanged, including:
Essential Benefits. Marketplace plans are still required to cover the same core benefits, including preventive care, mental health, etc.
No pre-existing condition limitations. You can still get coverage without limitations or paying more due to your medical history.
Metal categories. Plans are categorized as gold, silver, or bronze level, and the benefits and price follow accordingly.
Subsidies. Nothing has changed in Obamacare regarding “Premium Tax Credits.” If your household income is between 100-400% of the federal poverty level, and you’re not eligible for a group plan, you’ll be able to save some money. This could make ahuge difference.
2. Zero premium plans will be a reality for a lot of people. BlueCross BlueShield will have some bronze-level plans that will wind up being premium free for a lot of subsidy-eligible people. (This works out because the plans are priced in a way that the subsidy amount covers the entire premium). Pay particular attention to a plan called “Bronze 4,” which has decent office visit copays (unlike most bronze plans).
3. Bye-bye individual mandate. This is the biggest (and most politically controversial) change in the Affordable Care Act for 2019. You will no longer be fined on your taxes if you don’t purchase an Obamacare-compliant health insurance plan. So if you’re healthy, not eligible for a subsidy, and interested in lower-cost alternatives, you can do that. We expect a lot of people in that boat to consider short-term health insurance plans.
4. Simplified enrollment. Let’s be honest: Healthcare .gov can be a real headache. Fortunately, the government is allowing third-party enrollment platforms to handle enrollments on its behalf. These platforms will sync with the Marketplace behind the scenes, but will usually offer a more streamlined, user-friendly experience.
5. Passive Re-enrollment. In most cases, if there hasn’t been any change in your income or household situation, you can passively re-enroll in your current plan. We typically suggest taking a look, though, as plans do change a bit year to year.
Questions About Obamacare 2019?
If you have questions about Obamacare or about specific plans, we’re here to help. We’d be happy to help you navigate Open Enrollment and find the best plan for you in 2019.