Open Enrollment Begins
Open Enrollment for 2018 began November 1st and continues through December 15th.
Despite all the conversation in Washington DC about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there was no legislation that passed both Houses of Congress. Therefore, the ACA remains the law of the land for 2018.
The Executive Orders that President Trump issued in mid-October will not impact Open Enrollment for 2018. The first Executive Order directed federal agencies to consider proposing regulations or revising guidance to improve 1) Association health plans, including the ability to form associations across state lines; 2) Short-term health insurance; and 3) Health reimbursement arrangements. The agencies have 60 to 120 days to respond. The second Executive Order discontinued the payment of Cost Share Reduction subsidies by the federal government and is effective immediately. This has NO impact on the consumer’s eligibility to receive the Cost Share Reduction (CSR) subsidy as a part of a Marketplace policy’s benefits. It DOES determine who is going to fund the CSR payments. There is a case before the appellate court awaiting a decision regarding the legality of the payments by the Federal government.
The loss of CSR subsidy payments means that the insurance companies are left to absorb the losses. Many insurance companies were aware that this action by President Trump was very possible and have already planned the 2017 rates with the assumption that the subsidies would NOT be paid.
Nebraskans will have only one insurance company to work with next year – Medica. Medica responded to the Executive Order regarding CSRs with a statement indicating “Our premiums for 2018 anticipated this action and were increased previously to account for it.” Medica’s benefit plans for 2018 include an option to utilize a new narrow network based on the CHI Health system in Nebraska. It is available in 23 counties. The broader-based Midlands Choice network is available throughout the state.
Those who were insured by Aetna in 2017 will lose coverage on 12/31/17. Those individuals will be automatically enrolled by Healthcare.gov into a similar Medica plan if they fail to update their 2018 application and select their own plan. Please take action so that you are in charge of selecting your health insurance for 2018, rather than allowing the government to do it for you. BlueCross BlueShield also withdrew from the Individual Market for 2018. If you have a “pre-ACA” BCBS policy, it can continue next year. All others will terminate 12/31/17. Please contact your agent to get new coverage for 2018.
The agents at ComPro are ready to help individuals & families review their 2018 health insurance options.
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