There has been a lot of talk and controversy about the Affordable Care Act since its inception. While I believe there are positives and negatives to the ACA, my goal is to help educate people on the basics of the plan and how they can potentially reduce their health insurance premiums for 2017. If you want to be covered under a health insurance plan on Jan. 1, you need to apply for health insurance within the open enrollment period which ends this Dec. 15.
You might have heard that applicants are finding their health insurance premiums have risen during the past year. This is mainly because of many insurers experiencing substantial losses and the phasing out of the Affordable Care Act’s reinsurance program. Many of the insurers available at healthcare.gov had losses, because anyone who applies for coverage, regardless of current health or pre-existing conditions, is accepted and granted insurance. While nobody likes higher premiums, it is a blessing for many who couldn’t previously get health insurance. Before the ACA, insurance companies could decline coverage if they believed the applicant wasn’t in good enough health to insure.
A reason why people used to work until they were eligible for Medicare at age 65 was because they couldn’t get health insurance on their own if they left their employer’s health insurance plan. With the guaranteed coverage of the ACA, it has allowed some people to retire earlier than they previously would have. With the loss of work paycheck, it’s at this time that most really can’t afford to pay higher health insurance premiums on their newly reduced income. However, some retirees may be eligible to receive a federal subsidy on their health insurance premiums with proper planning.
By: Andrew Hermsen
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