Open Enrollment for TrumpCare Begins Wednesday – 6 Things to Know
Eileen St. Pierre, The Everyday Financial Planner
I, like many other Americans, wait with bated breath to see how much I will be paying for health insurance next year. Being self-employed, my husband and I have purchased our individual policies in the Marketplace (the federal health insurance exchange) for the past four years. Open enrollment begins this Wednesday, November 1.
Here are 6 things to know:
- The open enrollment period will be cut in half – just 45 days. After December 15, you’re out of luck.
- Funding has been drastically cut for advertising (over 90%) and help (the budget for Navigators was cut 41%). The website HealthCare.gov will even shut down on Sundays (except December 10) during open enrollment from midnight to noon.
- It took a while, but you can now preview prices at HealthCare.gov.
- There has been a lot of publicity surrounding the tax credit and cost sharing payments. If you get a tax credit to offset your premiums, the monthly amount you have to pay may not go up at all. That’s because the tax credit rises when insurers raise premiums. You will still get the tax credit – that’s written in the law. However, those who do not qualify for the tax credit will have to pay higher premiums.
- The cost sharing reductions that the president has stopped paying help offset out-of-pocket payments for some consumers. Those who qualified for these reductions are in silver plans. Insurers still have to provide these reductions to those who qualify – they just won’t be reimbursed by the federal government. Insurers have increased the cost of silver plans in 2018 in anticipation of this. Those who are not eligible for cost-sharing may even find that the gold plans in their areas are comparable in price to silver plans.
- The IRS has publicly stated that it is still enforcing the penalty for not having health insurance. The cost of going without health insurance in 2018 is the same as 2017 – the greater of 2.5% of AGI or a flat rate of $695 per adult, up to $2,085 for a family.
As I have been doing every year, I’ll let you know how everything goes for us during open enrollment.