Open Enrollment for Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) through Washington Healthplanfinder (our state exchange) begins TODAY, Tuesday, November 1, for coverage starting January 1, 2017. Open Enrollment will close January 31, 2017.
Open Enrollment is also the time that current QHP enrollees need to renew coverage and can shop for a new plan. Current enrollees will receive notices about this. For those eligible for Medicaid (Apple Health), there are no restrictions on when you can enroll. People seeking new coverage for December 2016 may qualify for an earlier Special Enrollment Period; see the Washington LawHelp publication When Can I Enroll in a Plan through Washington Healthplanfinder? for more information.
In Washington state, low- and moderate-income people enrolled in QHPs through Washington Healthplanfinder will see much lower increases than the national news would lead you to think. WAHealthplanfinder reports that Washington state experienced an average increase of only 8% on 2017 Benchmark plans, compared to 25% average in the 38 states served by Healthcare.gov. The following are more details on cost increases for average premium and deductibles from 2016-2017.
Average premium changes 2016 – 2017
- Gold plans: 12.78% increase
- Silver plans: 3.86% increase
- Bronze plans: 5.82% increase
Average deductible changes 2016 – 2017
- Gold plans: 6.53% increase
- Silver plans: 8.29% increase
- Bronze plans: 4.99% increase
Nearly 70% of Washington Healthplanfinder customers who qualified combined to receive more than $28 million in tax credits in 2016, reducing premium costs by an average of $165 per month. Because of changes to health plan rates and financial assistance, customers may have the opportunity to use this financial assistance to keep their existing plan or find new coverage options.
Solid Ground’s Benefits Legal Assistance team can help people understand their state exchange and/or Medicaid (Apple Health) options. Contact us at 206.694.6742 or firstname.lastname@example.org.