Open enrollment ends on December 15. To allow yourself enough time to understand and carefully select the best plan to meet your health care and budget needs, don’t delay and sign up today!
By Shelby Gonzales, Senior Policy Analyst, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
As 2017 winds down, consumers are preparing for the start of a new health plan coverage year. Despite insurance prices rising, 8 in 10 people who purchase health coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace can enroll in a plan that costs less than $75 per month after accounting for the federal premium tax credits that help those who qualify pay their premiums. And, 4.5 million people can sign up for health plans at no monthly cost.
While premiums have generally increased, consumers eligible for premium tax credits are largely shielded from the hikes because their tax credits increase when the cost of coverage rises. In fact, while health plan costs vary by state, costs for many subsidy-eligible consumers have decreased this year, the Kaiser Family Foundation notes.
For example, a 40-year-old earning $35,000 in 2018 would on average pay 39 percent less than last year for the lowest-cost bronze plan, seven percent less for the lowest-cost silver plan, and 13 percent less for the lowest-cost gold plan.
It’s important to research available options when considering a coverage plan. For example, a married couple who are both 50 years old, living in Orange County, Florida, with an expected income of $45,000, can enroll in a bronze plan with no monthly premium because their premium tax credit would cover the full premium rate. If they want more comprehensive coverage, they could enroll in a sliver plan for $332 a month or a gold plan for $371 a month.
Open enrollment ends on December 15. To avoid long waits and to allow yourself enough time to understand and carefully select the best plan to meet your health care and budget needs, consumers shouldn’t delay in signing up. Trained and certified consumer assistance groups are available across the country for those who want help understanding plan options and completing the application. Consumers can find help by visiting the Get Covered Connector website.