You have until Friday to comparison shop for health care insurance. The federal exchange (Healthcare.gov) closes this Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, although open enrollment for Affordable Care Act health insurance, also called Obamacare is through January 31 in New York City and NY State.
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, and sign up or renew health insurance coverage.
The longer you wait to access the federal exchange for information, the longer your online wait for information will be.
Experts predict Thursday and Friday will be the busiest days, with frustrating, slow waits online, from all the last-minute healthcare shoppers.
Here’s what you need to know for New York City and NY State residents, and for our neighbors in New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, courtesy of Policy Genius, and their state-by-state guide:
In New York City and New York State, open enrollment is through January 31, 2018.
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. You will, however, still has access to the premium tax credit the ACA provides – until and unless the new GOP tax plan changes that next year.
We’ve got more info here. This information is from Policy Genius, which updates its guide with information on changing premiums as they come in.
New York State
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.