If you want to buy individual or family health insurance for 2019, now is a great time to start your planning.
Under the Affordable Care Act, as known as “Obamacare,” you can sign up for health insurance on your state’s health insurance exchange or individual marketplace only during an annual open enrollment period unless you have a “qualifying life event,” such as getting married or having a baby.
If you are buying health insurance through your workplace, your employer will inform you about its open enrollment period. The article will speak more toward people buying health insurance on their own.
What will be different for 2019?
There is no federal requirement for people to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. But several states are imposing their own mandate requiring residents to buy health insurance. Connecticut is not requiring it.
Here’s what to keep in mind as we head towards open enrollment:
- Insurers are joining the exchanges in many states.
- Premium subsidies will be larger than ever.
- If you’re eligible for cost-sharing reductions, you’ll continue to receive them.
- There won’t be a penalty for being uninsured in 2019, but you still need coverage!
For a more in-depth look into these changes, head over to HealthInsurance.org
This is the time to make changes to your current plan
What you can do during open enrollment:
- You can renew your current individual/family health insurance plan.
- You can choose a new health insurance plan through the marketplace in your state or through private insurance.
If you are currently enrolled in a marketplace health insurance plan, it will automatically renew. However, the plan may make changes to its provider network, copays, co-insurance and drug coverage. Your plan must send you a notice of any changes it will make for 2019.
Take time to read the notice to see what it means for you. Make certain your doctors and preferred hospital are still in your network. Be aware, you may be able to use out-of-network doctors and hospitals, if you’re willing to pay more. In some cases, you might not be covered at all if you go out of network.
Your prescription drug coverage also could change. The plan may no longer cover the drugs you take to manage your chronic conditions. It’s important that you check your plan’s drug benefits for 2019 before you allow it to renew. You may need to find a different plan for your needs and now’s the time to do it.
Health plans must provide an online link to the list of drugs they will cover, known as formularies.
How much should I expect to pay in Connecticut?
According to Consumer Reports, you should expect to pay on average $612 per mo. in Connecticut, which is a 12.6% increase from 2018.
It’s also important to note that Connecticut bans insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions on policies lasting more than six months.
Connecticut was considering legislation to require residents to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. However, by April 2018, the individual mandate provision had been removed from one bill.
How to purchase Health Insurance?
The 2019 Open Enrollment Period runs from Thursday, November 1, 2018, to Saturday, December 15, 2018. If you don’t act by December 15, you can’t get 2019 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2019.
If your buying health insurance on your own, you have several options for purchasing a policy:
- From your state’s health insurance marketplace — check Healthcare.gov to find yours
- Directly from a health insurance company
- From an independent health insurance agent
Have more enrollment questions? We’re here to help!
We hope you found this article helpful. If you need to speak with an agent, please feel free to use the chat feature in the bottom left-hand corner or contact us at 203-481-8898.
If you’d like to get a health insurance quote please visit our Health Insurance page for more information about how we found the insurance policies for our clients for over 30 years.
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