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Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Period is Open!

November 13, 2014

Despite the negative propaganda provided by many of our news outlets and talk shows, the declaration that the cost of health insurance premiums would skyrocket under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, has not occurred. In fact, while the cost of private health care insurance costs have historically risen by 15 to 30 Percent during the last two decades, ACA’s projection for this year is roughly Six (6) Percent. Unsubstantiated claims were made stating that insurance companies would not sign on to the Market place. According to officials in Washington D.C., there are 77 NEW PLANS being offered this year!
Another allegation being circulated was that the Affordable Care Act was unfair to the young because it placed a limit on what could be charged older people, giving rise to the “fact“ that the young would not sign on. The uninsured rate among the young has declined more than any other age group. As an additional bonus, 3 Million young adults under 26 years of age have been added to their parents’ health plans.
Some of last year’s pricier insurers are adjusting their plans’ premiums downward to make them more competitive in the Marketplaces. Ceci Connolly, Managing Director of Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s Health Research Institute said, “We’re seeing competition flourish. Even though it’s a hassle, shopping is going to be worth it for consumers this fall” (2014-15 open enroll period).
In a current Bloomberg News article, Alex Wayne reports that Kevin Counihan, Chief Executive Officer for the Federal Exchange (healthcare.gov), is strongly recommending to individuals who obtained insurance through an Exchange last year to do a review of options available this year. In an October interview, he further explained, “What we don’t want to happen is for people to overlook this year’s options and default to auto-re-enrollment.”
In three days (November 15, 2014), the open period for either changing your health care plan coverage or for a first time customer to purchase insurance through the Marketplace will commence. You have until February 15, 2015 to change or obtain your health care coverage.
In deference to the insurance companies, the Federal Market Place will not publish premium prices until November 15, when the open period starts. However, you can be notified of updates either by email or text at the healthcare.gov website anytime, as this example shows:
_______________________________________________________________________
Make sure you’re ready for Open Enrollment 2015: Get started here.
Open enrollment 2015 starts on November 15 – and making sure you’re ready starts right here. Sign up to receive reminders before important coverage deadlines, as well as notifications when new prices and plans for 2015 are available.

Get email updatesGet text message updates
Pick your state
_______________________________________________________________________
Regardless of the level of health plan you choose, they all include essential health benefits that cover doctor visits, prescription drugs, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care and preventative care. Some plans will offer additional benefits such as vision, dental or special medical management programs.
There are four categories of plans based on the cost-sharing between you and the insurance carrier. If you qualify for a catastrophic plan, you cannot use a premium tax credit to help pay for it. Examples of plan payments: Bronze – 60% of the total average costs of care; Silver – 70% of the total average costs of care; Gold – 80% of the total average costs of care; Platinum – 90% of the total average costs of care.
The actual number of Oklahomans who “fall through the cracks” of the ACA because Governor Fallin and Oklahoma’s legislature failed to expand Medicaid to include those living at or near the poverty level has not been reported. There is no indication that there will be a change of heart in Oklahoma City or a reversal of their dislike of the Affordable Care Act.
Even though Oklahoma did not expand Medicaid, you should apply for it anyway. Oklahoma families discovered that state Medicaid (SoonerCare) was available for their children under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) during the 2013-2014 Open Enrollment period.

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