Signups for 2018 ObamaCare plans fall just short of 2017 levels, despite cuts | SierraSun.com

Signups for 2018 ObamaCare plans fall just short of 2017 levels, despite cuts

Ron Bliss
For the Sierra Sun

Despite a reduction in the length of the open enrollment sign-up period for health insurance for 2018, the numbers on Healthcare.gov nearly matched those of 2017.

Final figures for 2018 show 8.8 million enrolled on the federal exchange compared to 9.2 million or 2017. That came despite the fact the signup period was cut from 90 days to 45 days.

One reason the rate kept pace was that tax credits nearly doubled, in some cases. The tax credits shot up when President Donald Trump took away cost-sharing subsidies for silver plans. That caused the cost of silver plans to shoot up as insurers added the cost-sharing back into the plans at their own costs. The tax credits are based on the cost of the second-highest silver plan.

In many cases, Nevadans got better insurance for less – just as Trump had promised in a 60-Minutes interview shortly after being elected.

While many across the nation can no longer sign up for 2018 plans, a large number of Nevadans will have a chance to still get a plan for through special enrollment.

The reason? Two of the three insurers on the exchange for 2017 – Prominence and Anthem – are not offering plans for 2018. As a result, anyone who lost their plans with those carriers have until Feb. 28 to get a plan – if they paid for insurance through Dec. 31, 2017.

If that is your situation, I and other brokers on the exchange can help. You can contact me at 775-224-7169, if you need assistance.

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On an added note, the mandate to buy health insurance is still in effect for 2018. The change does not go into effect until 2019.

Ron Bliss, an independent insurance agent in Carson City, is a former long-time sports writer who has sold health insurance on and off the exchange in both Nevada and California since 2011. In addition to major medical plans, he sells Medicare supplements and Medicare Advantage plans, as well as short-term health plans, dental and vision plans and supplemental health insurance plans.