Some things to consider as open enrollment approaches
by Chris Woodward
August 29, 2016
Source: ONE News Now
With open enrollment for ObamaCare not that far away, what, if any, options do consumers have if they want health insurance?
Anyone concerned about reported premium increases, high deductibles, and/or narrow networks associated with various plans most likely has the option to buy insurance on what is known as the individual market.
"That is distinct from the health insurance exchange, the ObamaCare exchange, depending on the state that you reside in," explains Dr. Devon Herrick with National Center for Policy Analysis. "There may be many other options that you have not even seen yet in the individual medical market."
While not everyone is a fan of taxpayer subsidies, consumers buying insurance outside of Healthcare.gov or a state-based exchange (if one exists where they live) may not receive federal assistance to help offset the cost of coverage. Subsidies are based on an enrollee's income; an overwhelming majority of people enrolled in ObamaCare plans are receiving subsidies.
Meanwhile, employer-sponsored health insurance or health sharing ministries may provide another option for consumers. Dr. Herrick does not believe every state offers a health sharing ministry, "Although many states have changed their rule and now allow them," he notes, adding, "That is a good option as well."
"There are some caveats," he continues, "and these are ones that you would expect and ones that I would have if I were part of a sharing ministry."
While consumers can also forgo insurance, choosing that route could hit them with a tax penalty for not having health coverage of some sort.
The Open Enrollment Period for 2017 is November 1, 2016 - January 31, 2017.