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Is There Still Obamacare? What’s Happening with Healthcare?

Is There Still Obamacare? What’s Happening with Healthcare?

Posted Sep 01, 2017 by Jenifer Dorsey

7 Common Questions Answered

Calls to repeal and replace Obamacare seem quieter these days, but the discussion is not necessarily over. In the meantime, we are approaching the Affordable Care Act’s annual open enrollment period—or at least the time of year during which we’ve come to expect it.

So, what’s happening with healthcare? Are we supposed to start preparing for open enrollment? Is Obamacare even still a thing? Let’s take a look at some questions a lot of us have right now.

1. Is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) still in place?

Yes. As of this article’s publication date, the ACA, also known as Obamacare, still remains law and its key provisions remain in effect. Those provisions include but are not limited to the following[1]:

  • Applicants cannot be denied major medical insurance coverage or charged higher premiums based on health history.
  • All individual health insurance plans must include essential health benefits.
  • Certain preventive care services and screenings must be included in all major medical insurance plans at no additional cost.

2. Will there be health insurance exchanges for open enrollment this fall?

Yes. The state and federal exchanges created under the ACA remain in operation. Not sure where to shop? Find your state’s exchange here. You may also purchase ACA-compliant individual and family health insurance plans in the private market during open enrollment.

 

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3. When is 2018 open enrollment for health insurance?

The 2018 open enrollment period for individual and family health insurance plans sold on and away from the ACA exchanges begins November 1, 2017, and concludes December 15, 2017.[2] This open enrollment period is shorter than in years past, and all plans sold during open enrollment will begin on January 1, 2018.

4. How much will premium rates increase in 2018?

Overall, we don’t yet know. Insurers have until Sept. 5, 2017, to file their 2018 rate requests.[3] You can search rate review information for your insurer at HealthCare.gov. The website ACASignups.net tracks state by state rate hike requests and makes projections here.

5. Are there still Obamacare subsidies now … and for 2018?

Yes. Subsidies, including premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) remain available to those who qualify for them and, as of now, will continue to remain available to those who qualify for them in 2018.

6. I live in Arizona, and I hear I will only have one carrier option for 2018. Is this true?

It is highly possible, depending on the county in which you live. As of August 23, 2017, CMS estimated that there would be a single carrier option available through the exchange in 47 percent of counties.[4] At this time, Arizona was among several states where most counties were in this situation.

 

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As carriers continue to make decisions about selling 2018 plans on and away from the ACA exchanges, these numbers could fluctuate in upcoming months.

7. What if legislation passes to repeal and replace the ACA yet this year?

That is, as they say, a bridge we’ll have to cross if and when we come to it. We at healthedeals.com will continue to follow legislative decisions and provide information about their impact on consumers as well as their healthcare coverage options.

To learn more about your short- and long-term healthcare coverage options such as short term medical insurance and fixed benefit indemnity plans, call the number at the top of your screen to speak with a certified advisor, or use Agent Finder to search for a producer in your area

 

 


Legal Disclaimers

[1] HealthCare.gov. “Health Coverage Rights and Protections.” Accessed Aug. 28, 2017. https://www.healthcare.gov/health-care-law-protections/

[2] HealthCare.gov. “Deadlines for 2017 & 2018 Health Insurance.” Accessed Aug. 28, 2017. https://www.healthcare.gov/quick-guide/dates-and-deadlines/

[3] Pear, Robert. “Health Insurers Get More Time to Calculate Increases for 2018.” The New York Times. Aug. 13, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/13/us/politics/health-insurers-get-more-time-to-calculate-increases-for-2018.html?mcubz=0

[4] Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “County by County Analysis of Current Projected Insurer Participation in Health Insurance Exchanges.” CMS.gov. August 23, 2017. https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Health-Insurance-Marketplaces/Downloads/2017-08-23-Issuer-County-Map.pdf