Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Officials urge Virginians to explore health plan market changes

Officials urge Virginians to explore health plan market changes

In most states, open enrollment for 2019 Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage runs through December 15.

"There's a lot of confusion around whether the Affordable Care Act still exists", said Hattemer.

"This work was critical to combat the Trump Administration, whose action to undermine the ACA has left states no other choice but to take the lead in insuring the protections provided by the ACA are maintained and that residents have access to quality health care", said Marlene Caride, the Department of Banking and Insurance commissioner.

This enrollment season will also be the first since the Trump administration has been taking steps to circumvent the ACA's insurance requirements, making it easier for individuals to buy two cheap types of insurance that cover less care and lack certain popular consumer protections.

Whether you are thinking about changing health insurance plans or purchasing new coverage, the State Corporation Commission's (SCC) Bureau of Insurance encourages Virginians to review their health coverage needs and thoroughly explore all their options, especially when considering short-term, limited-duration (STLD) health insurance plans. For example, consumers may want to also consider a plan's provider network and whether the plan has the coverages they are accustomed to receiving.

Open enrollment began Thursday through the Affordable Care Act, which covers more than 100,000 Louisiana residents. "We're making sure people know financial help is available".

The state will formally mark the Health Insurance Marketplace's sixth enrollment period with a press event at 1 p.m. November 5 at Westside Family Healthcare's Northeast Wilmington Health Center, 908-B E. 16th St. Westside is the only organization in DE to receive federal funding for navigators to help people enroll for coverage either in person or over the phone.

The overall current average monthly premium in DE is $750, reduced to $223 per month after factoring the tax credit.

Hattemer says it's important to look at what your insurance will cost you with those tax credits included - because it could allow you to get a better plan than you think you can afford.

This year, consumers can also sign up for short-term insurance plans. "If you need help walking through the enrollment process and understanding your options, we have in-person assisters who can help".

Like past year, there are still (the same) four insurance providers in the marketplace: Ambetter, Sendero, Oscar and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

You can't buy a short-term plan on healthcare.gov or your state's exchange, and as of now you can't use Obamacare premium subsidies to help defray their cost.

There is a chart comparing ACA-compliant plans and STLD plans available at the link in the Related Links box. Florida Blue is the only insurer that's offering plans in all 67 counties. Taking out a Short Term Major Medical plan and adding a dental, vision or accident policy can provide the coverage necessary to protect them from the high cost of healthcare.

Nationally, average premiums are going up only by low single-digit percentages for 2019.

Among the more than 24,500 current enrollees, 77 percent are re-enrollees and 23 percent are new enrollees for 2018. They paid an average of $79 per month after subsidies.

"Lack of awareness about coverage options, particularly financial help and deadlines, is one of the biggest barriers in reaching the remaining uninsured". The Marketplace can assist consumers that do not have health insurance through an employer, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source that provides qualifying health coverage. Changes made during open enrollment will go into effect January 1, 2019. For 2018, the maximum penalty will not exceed $2,085 per household.

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