Do You Have Health Insurance for 2017?

Posted on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 4:07 pm    

sethoscopeOpen enrollment for health insurance for 2017 started on November 1st and will go through January 31st.

Some people might think that if you get in a car accident through no fault of your own, that the person who caused the wreck should pay for your medical treatment. In reality, even if the car wreck is not your fault, you will want to use your own health insurance to cover your medical treatment and expenses. Some medical providers and specialists will not treat you if you don’t have health insurance. By using your own health insurance, you will get a better deal with the discounts that your health insurance gives you, so that means more money in your pocket after the settlement. Also, using your own insurance means that your medical bills may get paid more quickly.

Hiring an attorney can help you get a fair settlement for the injuries you received. The attorney will keep track of all medical bills and work with medical providers to get discounts on bills, so that you walk away without medical bills hanging over you.

So it is open enrollment time and if you haven’t already lined up health insurance for 2017, now is the time to do it!  Mississippi uses the federally-run exchange for individual market plans, so residents who buy their own health insurance enroll through Healthcare.gov.

With few exceptions, the Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance.

If you do not have coverage of any type, you’ll need to buy your own health insurance. Otherwise you’ll have to pay a penalty. The penalty is $695 for adults and $347 for a child without insurance. The good news is that you can get help paying for your health insurance in the form of a subsidy. If your income is under 4 times the poverty level, around 47,000 for an individual and 97,000 for a family of four, then you can qualify for a subsidy.

Unfortunately, this year is a tough one for Mississippians for two reasons.  The first is that United Healthcare is leaving the market which will leave Humana and Magnolia/Ambetter as the only carriers offering plans in the exchange. The second is that rates are increasing. Humana rate hikes are 43% and Magnolia/Ambetter is 7%.

However, even with the increases in premiums, these rate hikes can be offset by the subsidies you receive.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi is the biggest health insurance carrier in the state, but they have not participated in the exchange. They have proposed an increase of 15.8% for 2017.

Visit HealthCare.gov  to see what your options are and always check around with your local insurance agencies if you need assistance.  Having a local contact person to assist you can save you time, money and headaches in the future.