The 2018 Open Enrollment season for the Affordable Care Act is underway as of November 1st, 2017. One big change that should be noted for consumers is that Open Enrollment ends on December 15th, 2017 — which means there is a shorter period of time than last year to obtain health insurance through the exchange. This leaves little room for procrastination, so make sure to call Hafetz and Associates as soon as possible to ensure that you have coverage for 2018!
Due to budget cuts, there will not be much advertising for Open Enrollment this year that will let people know that the enrollment period is shorter than in the past. Because this is the first year Open Enrollment has this short of a window, we won’t know how this affects the consumer until after the period is over.
This year, the grants for Navigators—individuals trained to help consumers look for health coverage through the Marketplace—have been greatly reduced. Therefore, there will not be as many Navigators available to assist consumers this year who need help obtaining insurance through the exchange.
Another change for consumers to be aware of is that this year, premiums have increased. If you are a consumer eligible for a tax credit (subsidy), the monthly cost after the tax credit may remain the same as last year. For consumers who are not eligible for tax credits, you’ll have to absorb the total increase in the premium, or look at other plan options.
For the tax year of 2017 the penalty is 2.5 percent of your total household adjusted gross income, or $695 per adult (whichever is higher). The penalty amounts for tax year 2018 have not been announced yet, but are expected to increase.
Here is some additional information for 2018 Open Enrollment you should know about:
- The Affordable Care Act is still the law.
- Even though President Trump signed an Executive Order to halt federal payments for Cost-Sharing Reductions to the carriers, the carriers are still providing this benefit. Cost Sharing Reductions are additional help with deductibles, copays, and co-insurance for those who qualify based on income.
- The IRS has announced that in 2018, tax returns that do not contain information about whether the filer has health care coverage will be rejected.
- Consumers currently receiving tax credits (subsidies) need to update their income on healthcare.gov or reach out to their broker for assistance.
If you need assistance navigating healthcare.gov or in obtaining health care coverage for 2018, or have any questions, please contact Hafetz and Associates at 866-99-HAFETZ (or 609-872-0001) today.