2019 Open Enrollment is almost here and many clients and friends are getting notices that their plans are changing or their premiums are increasing. On November 1st, 2018 we'll be able to get a view of the universe of health options we'll have for 2019. While many clients will stay with their current plan, they will certainly see an increase in premiums and also in their deductibles or out of pocket maximums again. The annual bump in costs and reductions in benefits are now the norm for most people and we are constantly scouring the landscape for new options.
Affordable Care Act - Obamacare
You may have missed the deadline to sign up for health insurance coverage that will begin 1/1/2015, but all is not lost. There still may be an opportunity for you to add coverage in the next few days as there are special circumstances that will permit you to buy coverage if you meet several criteria. We wanted to highlight a few key "secrets" we've seen this year that you need to know that may help you get coverage or at least avoid trouble in 2015.
Remember all of the promises you were told when politicians were attempting to pass the Affordable Care Act? Can you recall all of the great benefits we'd see with the passage of the landmark piece of legislation? I certainly remember many of the lofty goals and utopian outcomes our leaders told us would come to pass if we simply trusted government to take the reins of one our biggest national industries.
While we must allow the law to really make its impact felt before we can make a final judgment on the merits of its ability to improve healthcare quality and increase accessibility, we can weigh in on the major area that all of us feel monthly, which is our health insurance premiums.
As we've noted several times in the last month, Open Enrollment begins this weekend and we'll be able to get our first view of the pricing of 2015 health insurance plans. Fortunately, I've been able to get an advanced look at what we'll call "solid estimates" and the results are frankly.....exactly the same as before or worse! In the past years before Obamacare we would typically expect annual rate increases of 6% to 10% each year. Sometimes those rates would only climb 4%, and bad years would see 12% hikes. We've all been told that the Affordable Care Act would "bend the cost curve" and make healthcare more affordable since services would be spread across a larger pool of insured people as the losses providers felt from serving the uninsured went away. Unfortunately, we're too early to see any real impact or we were simply lied to.
The end of the year is typically marked by trying to close business deals and get holiday preparations complete. The last thing we want is a few suprises to interupt our plans or cause us to get distracted. November 15th will bring the beginning of this year's Open Enrollment and all of Texas Health Design's existing clients will receive new quotes that provide a snapshot of all the plans and companies available for the coming year. As we've begun our preparations to serve our clients we wanted to bring your attention to a few suprises that are in store for health insurance shoppers for the coming 2015 plan year.
The 2014 rollout of the Affordable Care Act was challenging and created great frustration in many insurance policy shoppers. Technological issues hampered many and the size and scope of the changes to the health industry impacted insurers and policy holders alike. As we near the new Open Enrollment Period we wanted to provide readers a list of key rules and issues you need to know as we begin the new plan shopping year.
With 14 days left in this Special Open Enrollment period for the initial sign up period of the Affordable Care Act I feel a bit exhausted and vindicated that many of my predictions about the roll out have come to fruition. This post isn't about "I was right", it is really about perspective and trying to craft a strategy that will help us navigate the current environment.
Let me dive straight in and offer a quick summary of the current situation and provide some guidance.
We are nearing a few important dates that you need to know to prepare yourself and your family. We are clearly in a period where procrastination will be costly so you must take action to prevent overpaying or missing out on having coverage.
Still A Mess
We are almost 7 weeks into the rollout of Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) and I think we can agree that the execution of the implementation has been less than perfect. There are many issues that persist with the ability to access the Healthcare.gov website as connectivity has been brought down to try to fix the structural issues with the flawed portal.
In this post I want to highlight some misconceptions I am seeing that you need to know about right now.
We've all heard that problems with the Healthcare.gov website were being addressed and our leaders are just as angry as consumers are in dealing with this issue. We're patted on the head and told that we need to be patient and everything will be fixed.