Welcome back! Open Enrollment is November 1, 2016 – January 31, 2017, which means your plan is up for renewal.
As a result of the Presidential election, there has been a lot of talk about health care. What remains constant and true is that it is important to continue to protect the health and financial future of you and your family. Broken bones, disease and other chronic conditions can happen at any time. Most are treatable and in some cases preventable if you have access to care and health insurance. Make sure you renew so that you are covered for 2017.
You have three options for 2017 coverage:
Renew Your Plan
If you are eligible to renew automatically — we make it easy! If your health insurance plan is the same and your household size and/or income hasn’t changed, you may be eligible for auto-renewal. If this is the case, we will let you know and you don’t have to do anything but pay your first month’s premium before December 25, 2016 and you’ll be covered on January 1, 2017. Plan benefits, prices and networks can change from year to year. Before auto-renewing, check with your insurance company to see if your plan has changed. And of course, it pays to do your homework and see if there are any new plans that may be a better fit for you. You can check out new plans and prices with our Quick Cost and Plan Finder tool. Consider submitting a new enrollment application and shopping for a new plan, if:
- Your income has changed and you applied for financial assistance last year, and/or
- Your household size changed (marriage, divorce, having or adopting a child)
- Your address has changed
We need the most accurate and up-to-date information to determine the level of financial assistance you may be eligible for to help lower your costs.
Shop for a New Plan
If your insurance company is not offering the same plan, your household income or size has changed, or you simply want to change plans for 2017, we recommend that you use our Quick Cost & Plan Finder tool to browse your options for the best plan to meet your current health and financial needs. With this tool, you can check which plans include your preferred doctors, medications and hospitals/facilities. You can also get an idea of your total out-of-pocket costs. Note that if you select a plan that doesn’t include your preferred doctor or hospital “in-network,” it could cost you more to use them. Did your premiums go up? You may have some options to save money.
Go without Coverage and Face a Penalty
Be aware that your health and finances are at risk if you go uncovered and you will be subject to a penalty. The penalty for not having health insurance in 2017 will be $695 per person or 2.5% of your household income, whichever is greater. For example:
Did your income change?
If you received a tax credit last year and your income has changed, you should get a new tax credit estimate before browsing new plans. Use the Quick Cost & Plan Finder tool to get a sense of your savings prior to browsing plans. If you did not receive financial assistance last year, check to see if you now qualify.
Coloradans may be eligible for financial assistance depending on their income and household size. In 2016, our customer saved an average of $294 per month on monthly health insurance costs.
Once you’re covered, make the most out of your comprehensive coverage by understanding the benefits included in your plan. Our Health Insurance Basics Guide is a great resource to use.
If your premiums went up from last year, there are steps you can take to lower your costs.
- See if you’re eligible to save! Use our Quick Cost and Plan Finder tool before you shop to see if you could be saving. The good news is that if you’re eligible for financial assistance, when the rates go up, so does the financial assistance, in many cases lowering the premium you pay each month. On average, customers who receive financial assistance will see their net monthly premium go down 11 percent if they stay with their current plan. Those who move to another plan can save even more.
- Not eligible for financial assistance? There are still ways to reduce your costs. Consider switching to the lowest-cost plan in your current metal tier. That alone can reduce the amount of your increase, on average, by close to half.
Either way, there is an opportunity to reduce monthly premiums by shopping around and comparing plans but the premium amount should not be your only consideration. You should factor in out-of-pocket costs such as co-pays, deductibles and prescriptions, as those will affect what they pay for care through the course of the year. You may pay less each month, but owe more when you need care. Our expert Brokers can help evaluate benefits that meet your health and financial needs.
Once you’re covered, your insurance company will send you an invoice for your first month’s premium. Make sure to pay that on time each month to keep your coverage. Timing of invoicing and the receipt of membership materials vary by company, but here is what to expect.Learn about the Tax Penalty Review Your Account and Renew Find the Right Plan Get Free, In-Person Help