Tag Archives: ACA

Obamacare 2017 Open Enrollment

The Open Enrollment Period for obtaining healthcare coverage through the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace is November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. However, to begin coverage January 1, 2017, you need to complete your enrollment by December 15, 2016.

As in previous years, depending on your income, you may be eligible for subsidies for monthly premiums. About 85% of ACA enrollees do qualify for federal tax credit subsidies.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)  provides an easy-to-use, free tool   for calculating your monthly premiums and subsidies:


More Difficult to Find Affordable, Comprehensive Plans

Unfortunately, there are several unfavorable factors impacting Obamacare coverage for 2017, including the withdrawal of some large insurers from offering plans in selected states.

In general, 2017 premium increases will be larger than they were in 2016. Rates will vary by geographical area and the type of plan selected. This trend is not limited to Obamacare plans, but is also impacting individuals who have coverage through their employers. Deductibles and copayments are continuing to rise.

The other trend that is continuing is the narrowing of networks. There are both fewer doctors available in general and contraction of choice in specialists. Again, this is the situation for both Obamacare and employer plans.

A newer trend for Obamacare is the limited availability of independent insurance brokers to assist with making plan choices. These agents work on a commission basis, and now insurers are either reducing or no longer paying commissions to agents for helping people obtain ACA coverage. For example, Cigna, Aetna and UnitedHealthcare have dropped commissions in many states. As a result, a growing number of brokers are declining to offer their services to new enrollees, although some will continue to assist established clients.

For 2017 coverage, it may take a bit more time to evaluate your options and find a plan that is best suited to your needs. Remember, there is still help available from healthcare.gov and from individual insurers.



2016 Medicare and ACA Enrollment Deadlines

It’s that time of year again. If you obtain your healthcare insurance from your employer, you will be presented with open enrollment choices. As in previous years, the trend continues, with the employee portion of the premium typically increasing. People with coverage by Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare) are also in the fall/winter enrollment period. Continue reading 2016 Medicare and ACA Enrollment Deadlines

ACA Enrollment Deadline Approaches

The new enrollment deadline for obtaining health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is now March 31, 2014. Enrollment goals and deadlines have been revised since the establishment of state health insurance exchanges.

The original enrollment deadline of December 31, 2013 was extended due to many factors, including serious website difficulties at healthcare.gov. The federal site required a complex rebuild. Website problems also have occurred at state insurance exchange websites, such as the one in California. Inadequate staffing of consumer helpline staffs has also contributed to the need for a deadline extension.  Continue reading ACA Enrollment Deadline Approaches

New Obamacare Campaign Seeks to Enroll Young People

Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been the law of the land since 2010, 40% of Americans are unaware that the ACA is law, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey. Many of the provisions of the ACA are already in place.

Despite the lack of awareness, efforts around the “individual mandate” provision, which will require most people to have health insurance on January 1, 2014, are  Continue reading New Obamacare Campaign Seeks to Enroll Young People

Part-Time Workers Seeing Hours Cut in Advance of 2014 ACA

Employers, both large and small, are very nervous about a major feature of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that kicks in January 1, 2014. Companies with 50 or more employees will be required to provide health insurance coverage for those who work at least 30 hours or face large fines.

Some companies are decreasing worker hours to avoid providing insurance for those employees. Not only will those workers not receive coverage through their employers, they will also have smaller paychecks. Nationwide, an estimated 2.3 million workers Continue reading Part-Time Workers Seeing Hours Cut in Advance of 2014 ACA