Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Open enrollment under way, new Affordable Care Act options available for Iowans

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Ben Pena | 04 November, 2018, 10:25

Enrollment is also underway for a non-insurance health benefit plan sponsored by the Iowa Farm Bureau, a non-profit agricultural organization.

Central Floridians have access to between four to six plans, depending on the county of residence.

Florida has traditionally led the nation in enrollment, with about 1.7 million enrolled in plans this year. If your income is between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, you qualify for premium subsidies.

Jodi Ray, director of Florida Covering Kids and Families, said they can now only afford in-person navigators in about half of Florida's counties.

With that federal fine scheduled to vanish in January, this year's marketplaces will furnish evidence for a long-simmering debate: How much of the nation's gains lately in health coverage have happened because of the law's insurance mandate, and will coverage tumble without it? "The significant cuts by the Trump administration to enrollment advertising and outreach will leave too many families in the lurch, especially families in Florida". The availability of insurance through the marketplace is also one of the reasons that Delaware's uninsured rate has been reduced to 5.4 percent.

If you don't qualify for tax credits on the ACA market, you can still sign up for a plan with the ACA, or you can look at available off-market plans.

First, ask for details of any policy, including premiums in writing, and making sure purchasers understand the plan.

- If you do not elect coverage by December 15, you will be unable to get healthcare coverage for 2019.

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All ACA carriers offer plans off marketplaces.

"People need to be aware that those plans are not the same kinds of health insurance, that often times they don't cover preexisting conditions, that there may be some limits in there", she said. The dedicated PHIS Call Center consists of a team of multi-lingual, health insurance professionals, that are trained to walk a client through the entire process of selecting a healthcare plan and enrolling them for their coverage, as well as responding to any questions they may have regarding their new health insurance policy. Some may not have pharmacy plans.

"These plans are intended as fillers when you're in between jobs". "So I'd say buyer beware".

But Castor said signing up for health insurance will be more hard this year because President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have made "massive cuts" to outreach and enrollment programs.

Medica, the Minnesota-based insurer, will continue to offer plans for the coming year.

In addition to expanding coverage options, for the first time in the ACA marketplace era, TDCI approved premium rate decreases for two longtime market participants.

But some analysts say that premiums are flat or dropping next year because insurers overpriced their plans in 2018 because of uncertainty over the future of ACA. Today AgileHealthInsurance is the largest distributor of short term health insurance, providing a fast, online process for purchasing these plans. That's compared with 28.1 million Americans without insurance the prior year.

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