Published: Sat, November 03, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Advisory for people considering short-term health insurance plans

Advisory for people considering short-term health insurance plans

"[People] may be pushing it to last minute, and it's not good because we have fewer navigators this year", said Ray.

Open enrollment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act has started, and people might notice their premiums going up.

Gavin Southwell, the CEO of's parent company, HIIQ, commented, "For consumers in need of health insurance, the elimination of the tax penalty and broadening of the maximum duration of short term health insurance is a double win". Health insurance offered on the state marketplace has to meet certain requirements like accepting people with pre-existing conditions, the department said.

"We have in-person assistance in about half the counties but we're providing enrollment assistance in all 67 counties by phone", said Ray.

Ray said people should make sure they know what they are buying.

She added, "This year the president and Republicans in Congress have made it more hard for hardworking families to sign up for affordable health care due to their sabotage, including massive cuts for national outreach and enrollment efforts".

If you don't qualify for tax credits on the ACA market, you can still sign up for a plan with the ACA, or you can look at available off-market plans. Last year, 85 percent of people in ME with marketplace plans qualified.

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If someone calls about offering health insurance policies, be wary if they say they represent the "national enrollment center", the "national health care center", or any other official-sounding name.

She says there are several low-priced plans - and even plans with no premiums at all - that will give you a discount based on income.

The open enrollment period runs through December 15th.

This year, consumers can also sign up for short-term insurance plans. 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.

Meanwhile, open enrollment is also underway for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and the Iowa Insurance Division's Senior Health Insurance Information Program or "SHIIP" is available to offer free, unbiased and confidential assistance to Iowans, says Ommen. For small group plans, costs are expected to increase 0.1 percent. Both of these change could weaken the exchanges where millions of Americans who don't get insurance from an employer or government program go to obtain coverage.

Despite the marketplace's stability, Hattemer says, individual plans may have changed in price. It cut the advertising budget for the Affordable Care Act enrollment period by 90 percent, from $100 million in 2016 to $10 million in 2017 and in 2018 and has cut funding for navigators by 79 percent since 2016, resulting in New Jersey receiving over $1.5 million less to conduct outreach for 2018. Health care experts say there are more short-term plans, limited plans and high-deductible plans available, but those plans have some serious drawbacks. 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.

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