2017 Marketplace Open Enrollment Changes and Options

Posted by Megan Johnson on November 1, 2016

It’s that time of year again! Annual Open Enrollment begins today, November 1st, 2016. Although we are now in our third Annual Open Enrollment period, or “AEP”, there are some major changes this year. You do not have to navigate the Marketplace on your own! Our Health and Benefits team is well versed with all the changes this year and can guide you through them.

One major change is the availability of carriers. Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) is now the only carrier in the Marketplace for North Carolina. This means that if you receive a subsidy to help pay for your health insurance, BCBSNC is now your only option. United Healthcare and Aetna have dropped out of the Marketplace and all their members are being mapped to BCBSNC. If you had a United Healthcare or Aetna plan, you will be moved to a Blue Cross plan. This mapped plan may not be the best plan for you, based on your individual needs. We can help you determine which plan is best for you.

You may have heard about an increase in cost this year. It is true, the new annual out of pocket limits have increased to $7,150 for an individual and $14,300 for a family. With this increase, the Federal Poverty Levels have also been adjusted. For 2017, an individual earning between $11,880 and $47,520 or a family of 4 earning between $24,300 and $97,200 would qualify for a subsidy. The subsidy level has increased as well, which may offset the cost of the rate increase in some cases. We can help you understand whether you qualify for a subsidy and what this can mean for affordability for you.

Like last year, AEP ends on January 31st, though the deadline for all January 1st, 2017 effective dates of coverage is December 15, 2016. You will need to be set up by this time in order to have coverage for 2017. Whether you are being mapped to a Blue Cross plan or changing your Blue Cross plan, or whether you are new to the Marketplace and interested in how the Affordable Care Act can work for your needs, we are happy to guide you through the Marketplace. Call or email us today to set up an appointment for free consultation!

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