CHEYENNE, WYO – The time slot for individuals to buy or renew health insurance for themselves and families will end on Dec. 15, 2017. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming offers the following tips for understanding this year’s health insurance market.
It’s always important to check your plan details to see if the costs or benefits have changed and compare them to the plans available for 2018. Due to a wrinkle in premium pricing this year, some consumers may be able to buy a comprehensive Gold plan for a lower premium than a less generous Silver plan. More cost assistance is available for eligible customers, but the only way to find out is to check your options before Dec. 15. To find out if you are eligible for lower prices or if there are plans with lower costs, visit HealthCare.gov or call 800-318-2596; reach a Wyoming Navigator by calling 211; or call 800-851-2227 to reach a local Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming representative.
TIP #1. Cost assistance subsidies are still available.
The cost assistance available for eligible consumers in 2018 has increased dramatically and may result in lower premiums than paid in 2017. Both premium tax credits, which reduce your monthly premium, and cost share reductions, which reduce the costs you are required to pay for care such as co-pays and deductibles, are still available for anyone who meets income requirements.
TIP #2. For some, insurance may be more affordable this year.
Premium rate increases are not the same for everyone and will depend on the type of plan, the number of people covered, your age and other factors. Many people may be eligible for larger premium tax credits to help pay the premiums, allowing them to obtain more affordable and possibly better coverage.
For example, a single individual with an annual income of $48,000 could find a plan for as low as $94 per month. Two adults with two children and an annual income of $97,500 could qualify for a plan with a zero-dollar premium. For some people, the rate increase will be much smaller if they qualify for cost assistance or if they are currently getting cost assistance. For others, adding a spouse to their plan might qualify them for cost assistance. People who do not qualify may find better rates off the Marketplace by purchasing directly from an agent or company representative. Check out your options before Dec. 15.
TIP #3. The ACA (Obamacare) is still in place for 2018.
We don’t know when the federal debate over the Affordable Care Act will be resolved but any final changes are not likely to happen during the 2018 coverage year. Consumers have a very short window to sign up for a plan, but no one should wait to see what happens in Washington, DC. Research your options and get enrolled before open enrollment ends on Dec. 15.
TIP #4. Don’t wait to be automatically re-enrolled in your current plan.
If you don’t check your current enrollment for cheaper alternatives, you may be automatically re-enrolled in your 2017 plan or one that is similar to it. You’ll need to check out alternative plans before Dec. 15 to avoid automatic re-enrollment.
For help with questions and to enroll, visit HealthCare.gov or call 800-318-2596; reach a Wyoming Navigator by calling 211; or call 800-851-2227 to reach a local Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming representative.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming (BCBSWY), a not-for-profit health insurer and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, provides access to high-quality healthcare coverage, services, and programs to help our members make the best healthcare decisions and get the best care. With 10 locations across Wyoming, we provide hometown service to residents and businesses while serving people and charitable organizations in communities around the state. Learn more about us at BCBSWY.com.