Advisory for people considering short-term health insurance plans

Can how you vote in the midterms bring down the cost of health care?

Mayor Bowser Kicks Off DC Health Link's 2019 Open Enrollment Period

The sixth open enrollment period, in which people can renew coverage or sign up for a new plan for 2019, runs from November 1 through December 15, Without help from navigators, they may have more difficulty making the correct choice of health plans for their medical needs.

Also, the federal government has announced planned maintenance shutdowns of on most Sunday mornings during open enrollment.

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.

If you buy insurance on the individual market - either because you don't get insurance from your employer or you work for yourself - your best coverage options are likely still in the Obamacare market.

The Bureau of Insurance says STLD plans may deny eligibility for coverage or exclude services because of pre-existing conditions and may apply daily, annual and lifetime dollar limits on the amount they will pay out.

All plans offered through the marketplace must offer comprehensive health coverage - including key consumer protections like no discrimination against people with preexisting health conditions - and cover a variety of preventative services free of charge. "When shopping for health insurance coverage, understand enrollment periods, what ACA-compliant plans must cover and where to turn for legitimate information when considering purchasing coverage".

The marketplace is a key part of the Affordable Care Act. 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.

But Castor said signing up for health insurance will be more hard this year because President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have made "massive cuts" to outreach and enrollment programs.

But federal funding for navigators who help people sign up in Florida was cut from $4.5 million last year to $1.25 million this year. That cost drops to $201 when subsidies and tax credits are applied.

If you buy your own health insurance, the time has come to consider your plan for next year.

To qualify for ACA coverage, your income has to be at least at 100 percent of federal poverty level - $12,140 for an individual. Average rates for the 2019 lowest-cost silver and gold plans decreased from previous year for the first time, while the lowest-cost bronze plans modestly increased. Bronze plans have low monthly premiums, but high costs when you need care; gold plans have high premiums but lower costs when you need care.

Among the seven insurance companies that are offering ACA plans in Florida, rate increases range from 2.4 percent to 9.8 percent. This is the first enrollment since Congress removed the law's penalty for people who fail to carry health insurance.

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

Consumers should contact GCI at (866) 311-1119 or visit the GCI website to learn if they are eligible to receive financial assistance based on their income and family size. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, that tax penalty will be reduced to nothing.

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