2016 Open Enrollment for Obamacare Begins November 1

2016 Open Enrollment for Obamacare Begins November 1
Eileen St. Pierre, The Everyday Financial Planner

Open enrollment for those individuals and families wanting to purchase health insurance in the Marketplace starts November 1, 2015. Although the enrollment period runs through January 31, you need to enroll by December 15 for your policy to become effective on January 1, 2016. These dates are a little different from last year.

The penalty for not having health insurance goes up in 2016.

If you do not have health insurance and do not qualify for an exemption, you will have to pay the higher of:

  • 2.5% of yearly household income
  • $695 per person ($347.50 per child under 18)

Despite all the bickering in Congress over the penalty, neither the House nor Senate has passed any legislation as of yet to lift the penalty. This penalty will be assessed when you file your 2016 tax return.

Plans and prices will be available for preview during the third week of October.

Keep checking HealthCare.gov for the release. Don’t worry – when the plans and prices are released, it will be front and center on their home page and in the news. The Kaiser Family Foundation has done an early analysis of 2016 premium changes for the cost of the lowest and second-lowest silver plans in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

  • The average premium is expected to rise 4.4%.
  • Premiums are expected to rise the highest in Minneapolis (28.7%) and Portland (22.8%).
  • Premiums are expected to fall by 10.4% in Seattle and 5% in Los Angeles.

Re-examine your insurance options.

It’s always a good idea to look at all your options. Some insurers may drop out of the Marketplace. Some states will have new insurers join. Your insurance needs may have changed.

My husband and I plan on re-enrolling again for next year – I will keep you posted on our experience using Healthcare.gov.

Visit my Health Care Reform page for more information.