Report on 2018-2019 Open Enrollment

Good news! Rates stable or going down in 2019

ACA, Obamacare, or Healthcare.gov

No matter what you call it continues to be controversial, continues to have divided support and is hotly debated no doubt. This program jumps into the fray with an open enrollment season running from November 1st through December 15th. The tax penalty is still open to interpretation but at this writing appears to go away for 2019.

One problem with the penalty, however, is that it takes the focus off having health coverage at all. Penalty or not you still retain the risk of a large health claim. Dublin Health’s Colleen Gutwein and Michelle O’Sullivan regularly work with people in this market and are quick to point out “remember the real penalty is lost peace of mind and a large risk left uninsured is a recipe for financial disaster”. No matter your path or challenge with navigating healthcare in the region the team at Dublin Health & Benefit may be able to help. “It’s a little bit crazy around here right now but all here are willing to help,” says Managing Director Ken Woods. 603-563-8820 or www.dublinhealth.net for more info.

The above is reprinted from the Shopper News front page article on October 3rd, 2018 beginning next Thursday open enrollment begins and as usual there are 20 ways to hang yourself if you navigate the programs yourself but there is much good news to report!

The general climate

Rates are slated to stay about the same or go down depending on whether you are receiving a tax credit or not. Our expectations are projected to be a reduction ranging 11% – 20%. Those receiving tax credits with all other things being equal will likely be stable. Plans are about the same in 2018 as they were in 2019. Tax credits are still available to those who qualify and will roll over in a passive re-enrollment scenario. Once again no one carrier is coming in with “fire sale” pricing and the pecking order is the same as it was in 2018.

Passive re-enrollment, which requires you do nothing, is available from Anthem, Harvard Pilgrim and Ambetter. What this means is that you need to do nothing if you are happy with your current plan and benefits. Everything will simply map to the 2019 plan most closely aligned with your current plan. Just be sure to confirm that any auto draft is continued as 1st payment for 2019 is due by the 10th of January and we recommend paying and checking sooner to avoid lapse. Keep an eye on your statements to confirm the auto pay transaction has taken place by January 10th.

Passive re-enroll is good for most, but specific situations call for a consult with our brokers. Some examples are:

  • You have a complex income and tax situation and need to strategize to achieve a tax credit
  • You have significant changes in care needs
  • You have significant changes in medications particularly involving brand name drugs
  • You are unhappy with your current plan
  • You have significant or drastic changes in projected income for 2019 (up or down)
    • Remember small adjustments can be made at any time throughout the year by calling the office.
  • You need to add or drop dependents
  • You are aging into Medicare in 2019

Contact information for the entire team can be found at www.dublinhealth.net

Unlike last year we are in a fairly stable environment with ACA, Obamacare, or Healthcare.gov… some might even call it boring! Then again in health insurance boring and stable is good.

Happy Holidays to all.

Posted in Health Insurance.