Health coverage enrollment opens today; cutoff December 15

Source WLBT
Source WLBT
Source WLBT
Source WLBT

Health Insurance open enrollment begins on Wednesday, November 1, and Montana Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale says there are important changes to consider.

"Idahoans still have a robust choice of plans and the ability to get significant relief from rising premiums through the use of a tax credit, which keeps pace with premiums", said Your Health Idaho Executive Director Pat Kelly. There are 299 plans being offered on the Idaho exchange this year, from four medical insurance providers and three dental.

"Tax credit increases move with premium increases, as premiums go up so do tax credits, and I think that is where the affordability may be a surprise for people", said Kelley.

The exchange only covers the individual insurance market; people who have coverage through their employers aren't eligible.

Last month, Trump chose to end a type of subsidy, known as cost-sharing reduction payments, that had reimbursed insurers for providing enhanced coverage to consumers with incomes of up to 250 percent of the poverty level.

Starting Wednesday, Texans can enroll in health care coverage for 2018 on healthcare.gov through December 15.

"Pacific Source has raised their rates by an average of 13 percent, the Montana Health Co-op has raised their rates by 16 percent, and Blue Cross Blue Shield has raised their rates by an average of 23 percent", he said. "If in fact they fund 'em tomorrow, we'll change rates for 2018". Overall rate increases would drop to 7 percent, he said, the increase for silver plans would drop to 20 percent or less. "That's at a minimum".

"Your Health Idaho will be here as long as - as far as we know forever", Kelly says.

Around 95,000 people receive health insurance through the state's exchange.

According to the Health and Human Services Department report, 67 percent of Arkansans who buy coverage through healthcare.gov would pay $75 a month or less next year if they enrolled in the cheapest plan available to them.

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