- healthinsurance.org editor
- January 19, 2017
This time of year, we normally reserve this space almost exclusively for updates and advice about ACA’s open enrollment – and send readers who are interested in health reform developments to our Blog.
But we also know that you’re very likely on this page because you’re looking for health coverage. And since you’re shopping on the individual health insurance market, there’s also a likelihood that you have some appreciation of the fact that until passage of the Affordable Care Act, it was a challenge for millions of Americans to not only find real coverage – but to be able to afford it. For those with pre-existing conditions, getting coverage was often almost impossible.
Right now, this week, ACA’s coverage gains are threatened. The law is in the crosshairs of health reform critics who have tried to repeal it more than 60 times – and their plans to unravel the law have been put in motion. We know what the Republicans who have pledged to repeal are promising – and that if they’re successful, we’ll get another taste of the good old days before Obamacare.
Time is of the essence. If you share our appreciation for those gains – maybe you or someone you love has benefited from the ACA already – we hope you’ll consider sharing that appreciation and joining us in the fight to #SavetheACA. Everything you need to know is right here.
We’re in the (open enrollment) stretch
There are less than two weeks remaining in open enrollment – the only opportunity you’ll have to enroll in ACA-compliant individual coverage for 2017, including on-exchange and off-exchange – unless you have a qualifying event. It’s the best time for you to enroll for a long list of reasons.
Still trying to figure what kind of coverage is available in your area – or whether you’ll be able to can find affordable coverage? We’ve got all of the tools you need right here:
- Use our subsidy calculator to see if you qualify for financial help with your coverage costs.
- Our new Federal Poverty Level tool calculates income cut-offs for Medicaid or subsidies.
- Wondering about the consequences of not having coverage? Use our penalty calculator.
- Ready to compare plan benefits and prices? Dive in.
Need more information about enrolling? We’ve got an entire guide devoted to open enrollment. It’s loaded with information to help you make wise insurance-buying decisions – and it’s a quick read.
No good reason to not to shop
We know that many who’ve gained coverage under Obamacare are concerned about GOP promises to repeal and replace the law. Do their plans mean that you should change your plans to buy coverage now, during the annual open enrollment period? Definitely not, and here’s why:
- Even if a move to repeal and replace Obamacare starts in 2017, it’s unlikely that repeal would have an effective date in 2017.
- Subsidies – including premium subsidies and cost-sharing subsidies – are still available. And even if legislation to repeal subsidies passes in 2017, it’s unlikely any changes would take place before 2019.
Read more about what might happen to your coverage – and when it might happen – in The ‘Trump effect’ on your Obamacare coverage. But for now, there’s no reason to believe something drastic will happen to coverage for 2017 that you buy now.
Have questions about coverage options? Don’t hesitate to drop us a note – or call 1-844-337-4826 to talk with an insurance professional licensed in your state.
Obamacare – and other options
We’re big fans of the Affordable Care Act and what it’s done to improve access to affordable coverage. We know that the law has delivered health insurance for millions who were unable to find affordable coverage on the individual market in the past. And – if at all possible – we strongly encourage our readers to take advantage of the comprehensive ACA-compliant coverage the law has provided.
At the same time, we do recognize that there is a segment of the individual market population that is facing daunting rate increases. We realize that their coverage options may be limited – at least for 2017 coverage.
To those consumers facing high premiums – perhaps because they’re in the coverage gap or their incomes make them ineligible for subsidies – we still would emphasize that some health coverage is always better than no coverage. The good news: there’s a wide range of short-term health coverage available that could provide a temporary safety net until you can find less expensive comprehensive coverage.
About us: your guide to individual and family health insurance
At healthinsurance.org, we don’t sell insurance, but we do partner with qualified call centers staffed with agents who are both licensed in your state and exchange-certified. These partnerships also allow us to deliver health insurance quotes quickly and easily.
Since 1994, this site has been a guide for consumers seeking straightforward explanations about the workings of individual health insurance – also known as medical insurance – and help finding affordable coverage.
The topic of insurance can be confusing, but we’re here with more information than ever: educational articles, expert health policy analysis, frequently asked questions about reform, a health insurance glossary, and guides to the healthcare marketplaces and other insurance resources in each state.
Don’t hesitate to let us know if you hit a snag in the process – or if you’re stumped by a question about health coverage. Of course, we’d also love to hear about your success in getting coverage and quality healthcare.
But today, with the complexities of premium subsidies, cost-sharing subsidies, penalties – and now qualifying events and special enrollment periods – it’s a smart move to talk to a professional who can help minimize your cost and maximize your benefits, and save you research time. Call 1-877-809-0501 to get free assistance.
Open Enrollment 2017
What: The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) open enrollment period for 2017 coverage.
When: November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017
Where: Right here at healthinsurance.org
How: Get free health insurance quotes online or call toll free 1-844-337-4826
Special dates to take note of:
- December 19, 2016: The deadline to enroll in plans and have coverage effective January 1, 2017 was extended to this Dec. 19 in all but five states and DC. If you buy after the extended deadlines, you may need a short-term health insurance plan to bridge the gap to your 2017 coverage.
- January 1, 2017: 2017 coverage starts for those who enrolled or changed plans by the deadlines mentioned in the previous paragraph.
- January 31, 2017: The last day to enroll in or change a 2017 health plan. After this date, you need to qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.