As we gear up for the upcoming ACA Open Enrollment period which by the way seems to come faster and faster every year, I’m reminded on why I got into this business in the first place. “To Help People”! Through the tears, yelling, dead silence, and a “thank you so much” it’s evident that our help is needed more than ever. Oh, and headaches are free of charge with this:) I remember way back when we all thought the ACA would never come to light and now we sit here waiting for a miracle to replace it.
While the ACA is still in limbo for us it will be business as usual. Open Enrollment opens November 1, 2017 through December 15th, 2017 for an January 1, 2018 effective date. Washington State is a little more generous with extending the OE period through January 15th, 2018 for an effective date of February 1, 2018.
So now that you know the time frame let me point out a few important facts to remember:
You still have to sign up if you don’t have insurance from another source
This will be the time to either make changes to your current plan or select a different plan
If you miss signing up during the OE period you will have to wait a full year before you can enroll unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment period
There will still be four levels of individual/family health insurance plans-Bronze, Silver, Gold & Platinum
All plans must cover 10 Essential Benefits
Your family size & income determine your eligibility for tax credits if applying through a State Exchange
If you suffered a hardship you may not be required to purchase health insurance
For 2018 tax year and beyond (fingers crossed President Trump can repeal) the penalty for not having insurance will remain at 2.5 percent but the flat and maximum amounts will adjust for inflation
Are we having fun yet?
Now I’m going to take in the Fall colors, enjoy the holidays, play with my Granddaughter, make memories with family and friends and enjoy the Pumpkin Pie Spice in my coffee.