Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment 2017

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Let Freeway Insurance help you save money on your ACA Covered California health insurance plan. Anticipated rate increases for 2017 mean comparison shopping is essential. Freeway agents will work with you at no cost to find a cheaper plan, and guide you to free or low cost programs for which you qualify.

Though rates vary by plan, income, and other factors, Freeway Insurance has obtained government health care financial assistance for over 90% of its customers. There are no enrollment fees, or down payments. You will begin paying the month your insurance goes into effect.

Important Open Enrollment Dates

November 1st, 2016: Open enrollment starts. Plan ahead and make an appointment with a Freeway broker to get your health questions answered, qualify for your best rates and choose a plan.
December 15, 2016: Last day to enroll or change plans and have coverage beginning January 1, 2017.
January 1, 2017: Insurance coverage begins if you’ve enrolled before December 15, 2016.
January 31st, 2017: The last day to sign up for coverage for 2017. If you miss this deadline you will have to wait to obtain health insurance through Covered California until November 2017. However, if you experience a qualifying event such as a job loss, marriage, or the birth of a child, you can enroll during special enrollment.

What affects the cost of my insurance?

There are five factors that determine the cost of the premiums you will pay for your health insurance:

  • Age: Because younger people typically have less health issues, they pay lower premiums.
  • Where you live: The cost of living, differences in competition, and state and local laws impact the cost of insurance where you live.
  • Tobacco use: Insurance companies charge smokers higher premiums than non-smokers.
  • Individual vs. family enrollment: If your policy covers you and your spouse or dependents, insurers can charge you more.
  • Coverage levels: Your premiums will cost more depending on the type of coverage level you choose – bronze, silver, gold, platinum, or catastrophic.

Any changes in your income, family size, or residence address can have an impact on your costs. If you have experienced any of these changes recently, you may wish to change plans to find one that is more affordable, or one that offers more flexibility in terms of selecting your care.

What should I consider when enrolling in a health insurance plan?

For most people, aside from insurance costs, the most critical factor in selecting insurance is whether your doctor and hospital are in your plan’s network of approved providers. Consult with your doctors’ offices to find out which insurance network(s) they are part of.

The networks with the most doctors and hospitals are generally the most expensive. If you have a chronic illness such as asthma or diabetes you may need to see specialists more often, and may need a plan that offers better prescription coverage, as an example.

Patients have found that larger monthly premiums for plans that offer more services actually can save money compared to low cost plans with high deductibles. If you have overall good health, a low cost plan might be a better fit for you. The type of care you need will help you to weigh the benefits of each type of insurance plan.

Types of Plans

HMO

Managed care or HMO plans have you select a primary care physician within the approved insurance network. Your primary care physician makes referrals if needed.

EPO

EPO means Exclusive Provider Organization. The network of hospitals and doctors is very limited and you must use the care providers in the network, or pay 100% of your bill.

PPO

PPO or Preferred Provider Organization offers the most choices and flexibility. You can get care in or out of the network, but out of network increases out of pocket expenses and some services are not covered.

POS

A POS or Point of Service plan is a combination of an HMO and a PPO. You will have a primary care physician that can make referrals to specialists outside of the approved network if needed.

Levels of Coverage

There are four coverage levels of medical expense coverage in Covered California plans:

  • Bronze covers 60%
  • Silver covers 70%
  • Gold covers 80%
  • Platinum covers 90%
  • Enhanced Silver provides the benefits of a Gold or Platinum plan with the costs of a silver plan. Income level is the factor in determining Enhanced Silver eligibility.

The Affordable Care Act has enabled 24 million people to get insurance coverage. Whether you’re renewing your plan or signing up for health insurance for the first time, Freeway Insurance can help you understand the different types of health insurance and find the best plan for your medical needs. Call 877-860-6316, fill out a free online quote form, or stop by one of our offices for free health insurance quote today!