Deadline Looms for 2018 Health Insurance Enrollment

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Only a few days remain before the final Dec. 15 deadline to enroll in a 2018 Marketplace health insurance plan. If you miss the deadline, you may have to wait another year to sign up (unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period). All plans will take effect Jan. 1, 2018.

What’s different?

    • Don’t miss the deadline.
      Unlike last year, enrollees won’t be able to change their policy after the first of the year. After the deadline passes this Friday, the only way to change a policy or coverage obtained through the marketplace is if a qualifying life event has occurred. These events include (but are not limited to) divorce/marriage, death of a spouse, loss of coverage, and/or change of residence. Click here to see more examples.


    • Prepare for a penalty change.
      Likewise, the penalties for not having health insurance will change in 2018, as well. In 2017, the penalty was 2.5% of your income or $695, whichever was greater. In 2018, the income rate will remain at 2.5%, but the flat and maximum rates will adjust for inflation.


    • Good news for tax-credit seekers.
      Although premiums for even the marketplace’s lowest-tier health care plans (bronze) are rising an average of 17%, these hikes will be offset by larger tax credit premiums for eligible enrollees. More information on health care premiums and tax credits can be found here.


  • Even auto-enrollees should review their plans.
    Even if you know your health insurance plan will be available in 2018, you still might want to log in to the marketplace and review your application and the terms of your policy. Many health insurance plans are being changed, phased out, or eliminated in 2018, which means you might be stuck with a higher deductible or less coverage for an entire year. Plus, if you update your application and review other plans, you might save considerable money on monthly premiums and get a better plan in the bargain!

To purchase an individual plan during the Open Enrollment period, please visit In addition to starting or editing an application, the marketplace website provides useful information and resources for those that need to enroll.

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