Open enrollment time for Affordable Care Act health insurance, also called Obamacare begins this week. Whether you love your current plan or are shopping around for a new one, it’s smart for those of us frugal over fifty to know the rules and compare what’s available.
Here’s what you need to know for New York City and State residents, and for our neighbors in New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, courtesy of Policy Genius, and their state-by-state guide:
Open enrollment starts on Nov. 1, 2017, but deadlines vary by state.
The federal exchange (Healthcare.gov) is only open until Dec. 15, 2017. During that time frame, the website will shut down for what’s described as “maintenance”, at a maximum, from midnight until noon every Sunday except Dec. 10.
The Trump administration also has decided to shut down the federal exchange overnight on Nov. 1, the first day of open enrollment.
For hurricane victims, open enrollment has been extended for all Medicare enrollees and some federal health exchange consumers to Dec. 31, 2017. More here. Plans sold during open enrollment start Jan. 1, 2018.
The Trump administration announced on Oct. 13 it plans to stop paying cost-sharing subsidies designed to help low-income individuals and families pay for healthcare.
We’ve got more info here. People, however, will still have access to the premium tax credit the ACA provides.
Policy Genius is update its guide with information on changing premiums as they come in. So far, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington have approved rates higher than originally expected.
Enrollment deadline: Jan. 31, 2018
What’s happening to premiums: 13.9% average increase; New York estimates premiums for individuals who purchase its most popular silver level plans will decrease around 5% once federal tax credits are applied.
Participating insurers: Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, Crystal Run, Emblem, Empire HealthChoice HMO, Excellus Health Plan, Fidelis Care New York, HealthFirst Insurance Company, Healthfirst PHSP, HealthNow New York, Independent Health Benefits Corporation, MetroPlus Health Plan, MVP Health Plan, Oscar, UnitedHealthcare of New York
Other stuff to know: New York uses a state exchange, New York State of Health. It is one of the most robust in the country, with a total of 15 carriers. Two insurers — Affinity and CareConnect — exited the market this year.
Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 5.21% to 41.76% increases, according to proposed rates. Update: Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey announced on Oct. 17 that the state has approved final rate increases between 16% and 28%. The insurer attributes 60% of the increase to federal policy changes, including Trump’s decision to cut CSR funding, weakened enforcement of the individual mandate and reinstatement of the health insurance tax. Otherwise, it says, premiums would have increased by an average of 9.6%.
Participating insurers: AmeriHealth, Horizon, Oxford Health Insurance
Enrollment deadline: Dec. 22, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 29.7% average increase
Participating insurers: Anthem, ConnectiCare Benefits
Other stuff to know: Connecticut uses a state exchange, Access Health CT.
Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: Update: Pennsylvania released its final rates on Oct. 16, 2017, which has premiums rising by an average of 30.6%, revised from an original estimate of 7.6%. It attributed the last-minute spike to Trump’s decision to pull CSR funding (see above).
Participating insurers: Capital Advantage Insurance, First Priority HMO, Geisinger Health Plan, Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Health Insurance Company, Highmark Inc., Independence Blue Cross, Keystone Health Plan East, UPMC Health Options, Inc.
See Policy Genius for additional states.