Attention shoppers! The Health Insurance Marketplace (healthcare.gov) opens for business November 1, 2015. To ensure you have coverage January 1, 2016, don't delay. Enrollers are standing by now.
While shopping for health insurance doesn't generate the same excitement we've come to expect from a Black Friday retail marathon, it shouldn't be overlooked.
The Affordable Care Act mandates most all individuals have coverage or pay a penalty at tax time.
As of June 30, 2015, nearly 9.9 million consumers enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. In 2016, the Obama administration projects about 10 million people will get coverage through the Marketplace.
Other than slight tweaks in deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance, 2016 plan offerings are expected to be nearly identical to 2015 plans. Unfortunately, prices are expected to be, on average, 12% higher for 2016.
The deadline to enroll for January 1, 2016, coverage is December 15, 2015. Open Enrollment ends January 31, 2016. If you miss the deadline you can't enroll for coverage until the 2017 Open Enrollment, unless you qualify for a special enrollment period.
If you enrolled in 2015 coverage, you 'll receive two communications by the end of October via mail or email. The Health Insurance Marketplace will issue a letter explaining how to secure or renew a premium tax credit for 2016. It's important to update your 2016 expected income and household information to ensure you receive the correct premium tax credit.
If you under report your income you may receive more subsidy than you qualify for and have to pay back any overage when you file your 2016 federal taxes. If you over report your income, you may receive less of a tax credit than you deserve.
Another communication will arrive from your health insurance company explaining if your current plan is still available or what, if any, change to expect in 2016. You'll learn what your 2016 premiums are and the letter will tell you whether or not you'll be automatically enrolled in the same plan or a similar plan in the event you take no action. If you don't action by December 15, you will likely be automatically re-enrolled in your current plan for January 1.
If you'd rather not navigate the Marketplace on your own, consider working with one of our Kansas-City based licensed, certified enroller. This year Bukaty Companies doubled our enrollment team to reduce call wait times. Call us for a free consultation and quote, 913-333-3389.
We can't offer a two-for-one special, or a free toaster with purchase, but we can present your health insurance options and help you select the best coverage for your budget. Call today.