Obamacare for 2017: What’s Changing?

Obamacare Annual Open Enrollment 2017 starts November 1, 2016, and ends January 31, 2017. During this time frame is the only time that everyone can enroll in a healthcare plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace. This means that if you want to get cost assistance and/or avoid the penalty fee for not having health insurance in 2017, you will need to obtain a health insurance plan between November 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017. Once you get a plan, you’ll need to maintain the plan, or an exemption, throughout the entire year.

Recent guidelines by the Obama administration are aiming to help customers make more informed decisions when purchasing health insurance coverage for the coming year. There are new rules within Obamacare. For example, one change you may see in 2017 is increased information about provider networks, out-of-network providers, and out-of-pocket costs.

More specifically, for the 2017 insurance season, all changes to premiums, both increases and decreases, will be publicly posted for customers to see. Most insurers opposed those moves on the grounds that it would confuse people and undermine competition. But this new rule sides with other stakeholders who have argued for more transparency during the muddy rate-setting process.

This new rule also helps address unexpected medical bills that patients may receive when an out-of-network doctor provides their care, even if that care occurs at an in-network hospital.

If you miss the Annual Enrollment Period, your options will include: employer-based coverage, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Medicare has unique annual open enrollment periods, as well.

Be Warned:  Penalties have increased for those who remain uninsured in 2017. Act now, and let one of WNC Health Insurance’s personal reform advisors help you understand your health insurance options under Obamacare!