Stable premiums, more options as health law sign-ups begin

Nora Nguyen
November 4, 2018

The Affordable Care Act open enrollment began on Thursday, and if you want your health coverage to start in January, you have to sign up or re-enroll in a plan in the ACA marketplace by December 15.

The marketplace is a key part of the Affordable Care Act.

The cost of premiums in the 2019 ACA markets is projected to increase by 5.2 percent, a modest rise compared with last year's rates, which went up by as much as 45 percent, according to data released by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

"That is why I am introducing the ENROLL Act to safeguard the vital service health care Navigators provide to our neighbors before, during and after open enrollment".

Income-based tax credits to help pay premiums remain available.

So if you find a plan that has a low monthly premium but a $7,600 deductible, it means you have to pay $7,600 out of pocket for your doctor visits and drugs before your bills are covered by your insurance.

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New Yorkers who don't get health insurance through their work or through Medicare can now enroll in a variety of plans in the state's insurance marketplace, called New York State of Health. Congressional and gubernatorial candidates continue to insist they support efforts to not bar people with pre-existing conditions from getting coverage or paying exorbitant rates.

No company offering an ACA-compliant plan will ask if a person has a pre-existing condition.

To qualify for ACA coverage, your income has to be at least at 100 percent of federal poverty level - $12,140 for an individual.

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

"We know that when we get Washingtonians covered and when we get them connected to the right care at the right time, then our residents have better health outcomes", Bowser said.

The state's campaign involves $450,000 - comprised of funding from DOBI, the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services - to conduct outreach, advertise the open enrollment period, and other promotions.

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

Two insurers - Delta Dental of Delaware, Inc. and Dominion Dental Services, Inc. - will offer a collective 11 stand-alone dental plans on the Marketplace. Through beWellnm for Small Business, small businesses are able to purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans.

Nationally, average premiums are going up only by low single-digit percentages for 2019. "It's uncertain how popular these cheaper and more bare-bones plans will be among the healthy people who will qualify for them", said Larry Levitt of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. Traditionally, these plans have been used as a bridge between more comprehensive coverage - for example, if you had a gap in coverage of a couple months in between jobs.

The overall current average monthly premium in DE is $750, with the average premium reduced to $223 per month after tax credit. "In most states OEP will end before the 2019 plans take effect, so enrollees won't have a chance to change their minds about their coverage once the 2019 calendar year begins".

"The OEP is shortened so it is important that consumers not delay selecting their plan and enrolling for coverage." added Dial.

Gavin Southwell, the CEO of AgileHealthInsurance.com's parent company, HIIQ, commented, "For consumers in need of health insurance, the elimination of the tax penalty and broadening of the maximum duration of short term health insurance is a double win". For 2018, the maximum penalty will not exceed $2,085 per household.

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