Friday's D3 Daily Action: Americans' access to insurance is under attack. Be an Open Enrollment Resource

The Open Enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act is Nov. 1 - Jan. 12.

 

THE AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD SAVINGS IN COLORADO IS $369/MONTH FOR THOSE WHO BUY ON THE INSURANCE EXCHANGE.

 

Many working people miss out on this opportunity. Be a resource in your community and remind your networks about this critical time!

 

Insurance Under Assault

Trump cut the open enrollment period in half nationally -- from three months to 45 days. The federal enrollment website -- not our Colorado one -- will mysteriously shut down nearly every Sunday during the period. And federal advertising to promote enrollment has been cut by 90%. We're sure he had good reasons.

But Colorado is Colorado, and our state has stepped up to offer a longer enrollment period, all the way to January 12th. According to one source, fully 20% of the expected 35% average individual market 2018 rate increase was caused by Republican efforts to undermine the exchanges.

The good news is that enrollments are strong so far this year. 

 

Open Enrollment 101

Open Enrollment is the public's opportunity to buy health insurance for the coming year through one of the state or federal insurance plan exchanges created  by the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare. In Colorado, we have an exchange called Connect for Health.

For working-age folks without insurance plans provided by an employer or other party, this is their main chance to shop for subsidy-eligible plans that scale with their income. This period is also the only time that most people utilizing ACA exchange plans can make changes to their existing policies or fringe benefits.  For those on Medicare, the enrollment period is Oct. 15 - Dec. 7, and this is their chance to remain on the main Medicare program or enroll in supplemental programs. 

Individuals with incomes below $48,240 and families of four with incomes below $98,400 qualify for premium tax credits, though every individual and family should check their own eligibility. 

Chances are you know a few people in your community who may not be aware of the Open Enrollment Period for either public exchange insurance or Medicare. 

 

Here are a few key resources on what's different in 2018 and how individuals can seek assistance when shopping for a plan:

There are several changes in 2018, but strangest among them: Gold level plans may no longer be better than Silver level plans. Learn more here

Curious to see ballpark plan costs in your area without creating an exchange account first? Click here

Want extra help in shopping for plans or accessing the system -- be it by phone, in person, or at a training event? Head here

Connect for Health Colorado is our state's public health insurance exchange. Head there to shop for 2018.

 

Stay Healthy America.

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