SELZER: 2019 health insurance enrollment has changes

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DC Health Link, established under the Affordable Care Act, offers open enrollment for individuals and families through January 31, 2019. Health care experts say there are more short-term plans, limited plans and high-deductible plans available, but those plans have some serious drawbacks.

Enrollees can choose one of eight Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of DE plans that are available for purchase in 2019 or they will be automatically re-enrolled in a plan that is similar to the one they now have.

Anthem has rejoined the Marketplace in ME this year after leaving for the 2017-18 enrollment year, and Community Health Options and Harvard Pilgrim will be returning.

The ENROLL Act guarantees funding for Navigator initiatives that provide critical assistance to help hardworking families pick the health plan that is right for them.

Of the 107,000 individuals who purchased individual health insurance in 2018, about 68,000 of them received coverage through a grandfathered or transitional policy. It also said in a statement that the exchanges have become more familiar to Americans seeking health insurance, somewhat reducing the need for federally funded navigators.

For the first time since the launch of ACA plans in 2014, in 2019 consumers will not have to worry about paying a tax if they don't have an ACA compliant health plan. Congressional and gubernatorial candidates continue to insist they support efforts to not bar people with pre-existing conditions from getting coverage or paying exorbitant rates.

The Health Insurance Marketplace, healthcare.gov, was established by the Affordable Care Act, passed by Congress in 2010. While the ACA provides states the opportunity to seek a waiver under Section 1332, sometimes called the State Relief and Empowerment Waiver, they have been hard to obtain.

As part of two changes to the ACA last week, federal health officials issued a new guidance giving states more flexibility to manage their own health insurance markets.

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Floridians have access to seven insurance providers this year, but not all of them are offering plans in every county.

Plans on the marketplace are spread among metal-level categories - bronze, silver, gold, platinum and catastrophic - and are based on how enrollees choose to split the costs of care with their insurance company.

"It's good to have options for those above 400 percent of the federal poverty level", Ommen said.

There will be no penalty for not having minimum essential coverage.

Also, there's also no financial help for those plans that are outside of the Obamacare marketplace.

The overall current average monthly premium in DE is $750, with the average premium reduced to $223 per month after tax credit.

Financial help is available for individuals with annual incomes up to $48,560; for a family of four the income limit is $100,400. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, that tax penalty will be reduced to nothing. Today AgileHealthInsurance is the largest distributor of short term health insurance, providing a fast, online process for purchasing these plans.

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