Updated: Jan 9, 2019
Open Enrollment 2019 will start on November 1, 2018 and the health insurance Marketplace will remain open until December 15, 2018. Coverage will begin on January 1, 2019. The Open Enrollment Period is a time at the end of the year when individuals can choose to extend or change their 2019 health insurance policy. AJM Associates, recommends that everyone go over their health insurance options every year, as coverage can change year by year.
If you are looking for health insurance, it’s important to check to see what your deductibles are, what your policy covers, and if you should look for a different health insurance option due to your changed circumstances. A new policy may work better and be more affordable.
In 2018, the Trump administration shortened the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) from 90 days to 45 days, and it appears as if that change will carry forward to future Open Enrollments.
While the Open Enrollment Period for 2019 won’t begin until the end of the year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) “Final Rule” for the upcoming OEP.
There have been changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and many individuals have found that their elected health insurance plan wasn’t available to them during the 2018 healthcare plan year. Major national health insurance companies like Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, Humana, and HAP exited the Marketplace or dropped a portion of their available plans, decreasing the number of total available health insurance options for member.
Other takeaways from the CMS final rule are:
Individual mandate penalty was zeroed out starting in 2019 as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This means that individuals who do not purchase individual coverage in 2019 will not be issued a penalty by the IRS when filing their taxes at the end of the calendar year.
Only carrier rate increases of 15% or greater will trigger a review by the state regulators.
Simple Choice plans will disappear in 2019. Simple Choice plans were encouraged by CMS for 2017 and 2018 plan year whereas insurers offered specific plans to cover a number of services. These plans included flat copays without the need to meet to first meet the deductible.
Essential Health Benefits (EHB) may weaken. The ACA requires that plans for small group and individual include 10 essential health benefits. Under the ruling states are now giving latitude to water down these benefits by selecting a “benchmark” plan sold in another state or one of their own developing.
Landscape for 2019
Michigan’s Marketplace carriers have proposed the following average rate changes for 2019, based on their filed rates and forms submitted no later than June 14, 2018 for the individual market and May 17, 2018 for the small group market:
Blue Care Network: 1.1 percent increase
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan: 4.2 percent increase. Only carrier to offer a PPO plan in the Michigan Marketplace.
McLaren Health Plan: 11.1 percent increase
Meridian: 2.09 percent increase. Sold to Wellcare Mid-2018.
Molina: 1.6 percent increase
Physicians Health: 3 percent increase
Priority Health: 2.5 percent decrease
Total Health Care USA: 7.6 percent increase
Oscar Health: New to Michigan’s individual market
Other States Open Enrollment Periods
Nine states in the United States extended their own 2019 healthcare Open Enrollment Periods this year; these states are listed below:
California, January 31st, 2019
Colorado, January 12th, 2019
Connecticut, December 22nd, 2018
Washington, DC, January 31st, 2019
Massachusetts, January 23rd, 2019
Minnesota, January 14th, 2019
New York, January 31st, 2019
Rhode Island, December 31st, 2018
Washington, January 15th, 2019
Get Assistance with Health Insurance
With the many changes to the health insurance industry in the United States, especially in the wake of the final CMS ruling, it can be difficult to keep up with all the policy changes and Open Enrollment dates. Especially since these changes can impact your decision to find affordable healthcare coverage. AJM Associates stands ready to help individuals with the ins and outs of the Affordable Care Act and better understand what their options are.
To learn more about changes to the Affordable Care Act and the Open Enrollment period for health insurance in 2019, contact the experts at AJM Associates at (248) 778-6070 or visit us on our website at www.ajmassoc.com. Our licensed health insurance experts will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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