It’s that time of year, when you should alert your patients to impending health insurance deadlines.
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2018 health insurance open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ends December 15, 2017 on healthcare.gov.
It is important to make your patients aware of the impending deadline if they get insurance through healthcare.gov, as the open enrollment period is shorter this year than in previous years.
It is also important that you remind patients to check their plans, even if they are not making changes.
Patients who make no changes may assume they will be automatically re-enrolled in their current plan, however, auto-enrollment may not be their best option. While they may be re-enrolled, premiums may have risen for their current plan, or if the current carrier has discontinued the plan, patients will be automatically redirected to a different plan.
It is important for patients to update their information in the marketplace and re-determine eligibility for subsidies and choices.
Many patients are confused about their insurance, in light of recent policy changes and challenges to the ACA.
There are several changes this year to note.
Other than the shorter time period to enroll, there are also new enrollment pathways. Patients can enroll directly in a plan through an insurer’s website, instead of having to go exclusively through healthcare.gov.
There is also an Executive Order urging federal agencies not to penalize those without health insurance, unlike previous years under the ACA.
There is also a great deal of fluctuation on the marketplace, as many insurers have left given the uncertainty of the future of the ACA. Other insurers have joined to try to compete. It is critical for patients to double check their plans.
Medicare enrollment is the same as previous years, open from October 15 through December 7th.
In our next blog post, we will keep you informed of related issues. To get this important information delivered directly to your mail box, click here to Subscribe.
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P.S. If you or your patients are interested in consumer healthcare issues, check out myhealthspin.com.