Obamacare’s fourth open enrollment period will begin on November 1, 2016.
The glitches and problems that defined the first open enrollment period are well behind us, and consumers can expect a relatively smooth enrollment process this winter.
But that doesn’t mean it’s easy or that all aspects of selecting and enrolling in a plan are simple or intuitive. Even if you’re already enrolled in a health plan for 2016, the options that will be available to you for 2017 will likely be different.
Changes for 2016-2017
Here are just a few examples of the changes covered in our updated guide:
• Subsidy eligibility levels will increase slightly to reflect the increased 2016 federal poverty level, and for the first time, carriers will have the option of offering standardized health plans through HealthCare.gov.
• Provider networks and drug formularies will continue to change and evolve, and tiered network plans may become more popular with consumers and health insurance carriers.
• The maximum out-of-pocket allowed under the law will be higher in 2017 than it was this year, and health insurance carriers will keep pace with the new guidelines, offering plans with higher out-of-pocket maximums in order to keep premiums as low as possible. (They will also continue to offer a wide range of plans with out-of-pocket maximums well below the upper limit allowed by law.)
• The federal government has issued another extension that gives states the flexibility to allow grandmothered/transitional health plans in the individual and small-group market to renew again for 2017, and many states have opted to go along with the extension. So if you’ve got a grandmothered health plan, you may be able to keep it for 2017 (though that might not be your best option, and you’ll want to compare it with the full range of new plans available in your area during open enrollment).
• Across the country, several insurers are exiting the exchanges altogether at the end of 2016, in larger numbers than we’ve seen in prior years. This will have an impact on enrollees’ plan choices for 2017, and also on the auto-renewal process.
ACA Health Care Plans – enrollment
Through Your Health Idaho, you may be able to lower your monthly insurance payment if you are eligible for premium tax credits or with cost sharing reduction which lowers your “out-of-pocket” cost such as co-pays. To begin the process and to apply for tax credit eligibility, go to www.yourhealthidaho.org
Important – select your YHI certified agent “Sue Boswell” by clicking on “Find agents…..” link.
To apply directly on carrier sites for “off-exchange” policies:
If you are NOT applying for the Advanced Premium Tax Credit, and you have determined you are renewing with your current carrier, enrolling on a new plan with your current carrier or have chosen a new plan with a different carrier, you may enroll via the carrier site at the following website addresses:
BLUE CROSS OF IDAHO:
The Bridgespan application is only available at the Your Health Idaho site: www.yourhealthidaho.org
MOUNTAIN HEALTH COOP: