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November 10, 2017

Can We Talk About Health Care For a Minute?

Open Enrollment

Can we talk about health care for a minute?

I know, there’s been so much political discussion about it that it is so hard to figure out what’s going on. I’m not going to go into any of that because it’s irrelevant.

Why? Because while the new Administration and members of Congress have come up with numerous changes to the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), but nothing new has been passed into law. Bottom line is that the same rules apply as when it was enacted in 2014.

Why Pay Attention?

I bring this up because it’s open enrollment time. Through December 15th, if your state participates in the healthcare exchange, you can sign up or change your current plan.

Let’s talk basics first. If you have health insurance coverage through your employer, this doesn’t pertain to you (but it could to someone you know, so don’t stop reading!).

If you do not have health insurance, this is the time to go to Healthcare.gov to find out what your options are. Eight out of ten individuals qualify for a subsidy making their monthly cost lower, with many plans in the $50 to $100 range (for an individual).

If you already have health care through the exchange, don’t neglect this open enrollment period! Insurance companies can discontinue plans and put you into a new plan that may or may not be best for you. You may also realize that the coverage you had last year didn’t meet your needs. This is the time to make a change.

Getting Help is Easy

Ok, if this still makes your eyes glaze over, you can get help. Call 1-800-318-2596, visit localhelp.healthcare.gov or make a one-on-one appointment now.

One more thing – if you don’t have health insurance either through an employer or through the exchange, there’s still a penalty you have to pay. It’s $695 now, which is basically half the cost of one-year worth of insurance (for an individual receiving a subsidy). So, it seems silly to waste that money on a penalty when you could have used it toward health insurance!!

See that didn’t hurt so bad. Just had to rip off the band-aid and get to the facts. We’ll save the debate about what should or shouldn’t be changed in our complicated health care system for another day. 

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