Board member and healthcare liaison Amy Fass issued the following updates about Affordable Care Act insurance:

The Open Enrollment Period (OEP)

For those who already have healthcare insurance through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchange) or want to sign up for it, there have been some changes. First, the OEP has been shortened by half, from 3 to 1-1/2 months; here’s the announcement on the website:

IMPORTANT: 2018 Open Enrollment is shorter than in previous years . . . so it’s important to act quickly. If you don’t act by December 15, you can’t get 2018 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2018.

States with their own exchanges, as well as Washington, DC, may have kept the longer OEP. New York has done this; its OEP lasts through January 31. (The notice on the homepage says only, “Enroll by December 15th for coverage starting January 1, 2018.” I called and asked about this, and the rep told me that the OEP does go through January 31 and that people who enrolled by January 15 would have their coverage begin February 1 and those who enrolled by January 31 would have their coverage begin March 1. I suggested that this info be added to their website.)

For information on how other states with their own exchanges are handling this, members can contact their states’ exchanges (see the Healthcare page).

The federal government has also cut back on funding for advertising to let people know that they need to enroll or re-enroll and for paying the navigators who help applicants through the process.

As in other years, premiums will be going up, but so will subsidies.

Be On the Lookout for Scams

I received an email with the following sending info:

Subject:  Did you miss the Open Enrollment Deadline?

From:  “American Health Plans” <>

Date:  Tue, October 31, 2017 6:04 am

The OEP hadn’t even started yet, and there were several other warning signs. But other scam attempts may be more convincing.