Medicare Plans and Obamacare – Wrapping up another busy year. Medicare Plan Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) ends on December 7th. Obamacare ends on December 15th. What does this mean to you?
Medicare: If you are on Medicare and purchase your own Medicare insurance, you need to make plan selections or changes during AEP. The exceptions are: if you are aging into Medicare or if you are going to change Medicare Advantage Plan to Medicare Advantage Plan or back into Original Medicare during Open Enrollment Period (OEP).
Be sure to carefully review information received from your Medicare Plan in September for changes. Contact your agent if you have questions. If you are changing plans this author strongly recommends working with a local, reputable insurance professional; opposed to an 800 number or internet enrollment. Your local agent should provide you additional support for questions now and in the future. When reviewing your options, be sure your doctors are in-network (covered by the plan) and how your medications are covered. Consider whether a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage Plan would be best for you. Remember, consider overall value not just cost.
ACA – Obamacare: If you have Obamacare, you should gather information and make selections by December 15th. The exceptions would be if you have a life change qualifying for a Special Election Period (SEP). Like Medicare Plans, these ACA plan can and do change every year. Be sure your doctors are in-network and you accurately provide information for any subsidy (also called advanced tax credit) that may lower you premiums. Some people make a snap judgment that they cannot afford ACA coverage, but considering the subsidy, they may be mistaken. This author has worked with clients with no premium after the subsidy. Again, work with local agents for personal and continuing assistance.
Obamacare subsidy amounts by income for 2019 for a family of four:
$25,000 $7790 $45,000 5,640 $75,000 1,165
$30,000 7690 $50,000 4,925 $85,000 215
$35,000 6917 $55,000 4179 $94,000 0
$40,000 6325 $65,000 2,567
Source: Financial Samurai.com
Obamacare subsidy amounts by income for 2019 for a single person:
$15,000 $2235 $25,000 $ 806 $29,000 $181
$20,000 $1514 $28,000 $ 353 $30,000 plan specific
Source: Financial Samurai.com
Is it easy to see that this “stuff” is so confusing? It is probably best to seek local professional help. You may wonder: what’s at stake? It could mean the difference from being able to have non-emergency medical services or not. It could mean bankruptcy. Therefore, it’s probably best to gather information and make an intelligent, informed decision. Resources on agents can be found at https://nahu.org/looking-for-an-agent/find-an-agent, and https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/#/ .
So, don’t wait; get you insurance in order today. If you do not have a Medicare or ACA agent, find one. Do not limit your options by only talking with an agent only handling one company or the insurance company’s main office. As always, feel free to contact our office if you have questions at 309-693-1060.