The Trump administration’s attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — President Obama’s signature health care law — did not go quite as planned.
However, “Obamacare” changes are on the horizon.
Obamacare is still the law of the land, but the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued new rules which change how the law is implemented.
These new rules aim to:
- lower premiums;
- stabilize the small group and individual health insurance markets; and
- increase consumers’ choices for health insurance.
The following changes are effective on June 19, 2017:
Shortened Open Enrollment Period
Open Enrollment for non-group health insurance plans will run from November 1, 2017 through December 15, 2017.
This means you will have only 45 days to enroll in a 2018 health plan. (2017 open enrollment lasted 3 months.)
Stricter Documentation Requirements for Special Enrollment Period
Individuals applying for coverage on the Exchange during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) have traditionally had time to provide documentation of their qualifying life event — typically 30 days after enrollment.
Under the new rules, if you apply under a SEP, you must provide documentation before you will be enrolled.
Promote Continuous Coverage
The new rules allow insurance companies to collect premiums for unpaid coverage.
This means if you stop paying for coverage mid-year, you must pay the back due premiums before you can enroll in a new plan.
Greater Plan Flexibility
Beginning with 2018 plans, health insurance companies will have greater flexibility in designing plans.
Whether this translates into better options for consumers remains to be seen.
What Should I do Now?
If you have a qualifying event, be in touch with us right away. Be sure you have appropriate documentation of the event.
When open enrollment rolls around later this year, it will be more important than ever to get an early start. The earlier in November you reach us, the better! You will have only 45 days to enroll in coverage effective January 1, 2018.
Give our office a call if we can answer any questions. We are happy to help. 703-707-8270.