Q. What’s the current status of the Affordable Care Act?
Despite the unsuccessful attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Open Enrollment period began November 1. If you do not enroll in health insurance, there’s a penalty. Premium assistance and cost sharing reductions are still in place.
What to look for:
Pay attention to the open enrollment period in your state. Open enrollment begins November 1 across the country and has been shortened to end on December 15 in most states. New York, California and Massachusetts have extended the deadline until January 31, 2018; other states vary. Check your state’s enrollment deadline.
If you have insurance through the ACA, check your health insurance provider to make sure they will continue to offer plans in 2018. Also, check with your medical providers and billing department to determine which marketplace health insurance plans they will be accepting in 2018.
Monthly insurance premiums are increasing across the United States. However, if you receive an Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC), you may be somewhat insulated from these increases.
Enroll during the week. States using the Federal marketplace will see www.healthcare.gov shut down for maintenance from midnight until noon almost every Sunday during the enrollment period.
How to protect yourself:
- Shop around! If renewing, you should be aware of alternatives in case you need to switch to a different plan. Make sure to calculate the monthly premium costs and compare them with the out-of-pocket expenses you estimate for 2018 based on the different metal tier levels.
- Advocate for yourself. Contact your elected officials and tell them why protecting the ACA and stabilizing the insurance market are important to you.