Starting today, October 15th, 2018 to January 15th, 2019, anyone that is lawfully present California resident can enroll in Affordable Care Act-compliant health insurance without a qualifying life event. During this Open Enrollment Period, you can apply for individual and family insurance with no medical underwriting and guaranteed issue as long as you make your first month’s premium payment before your plan goes into effect.

To apply for a January 1st effective date, you must apply no later than December 15th. If you apply by January 15th, you can apply for a February 1st effective date. Please review your modified adjusted gross income to see if you are eligible for premium tax credits through Covered CA. If you think you may be eligible for premium tax credits, please review the 2019 Federal Poverty Level Chart and consult your tax accountant to go over your income and the new tax law.

Across California, the weighted average monthly premium has increased 8.7% statewide for the individual/family market. Covered CA forecasted a lower 4-5% rate increase if we did not remove the health insurance mandate tax penalty for 2019. The tax penalty for not having Affordable Care Act-compliant health insurance has gone away although short-term medical plans have also been removed from the market for 2019. It is absolutely vital that you are enrolled in an ACA-compliant health insurance plan, at least a minimum coverage plan to cover you in case of an emergency. Hospitalization and urgent care can be extremely expensive without a comprehensive, state and federally regulated health insurance plan to cover you.

The plans have changed slightly in their benefits for 2019 such as higher out-of-pocket maximums on the bronze, silver and gold metal plans. The Bronze 60 and Silver 70 metal plans now have a $7,550 out-of-pocket maximum from a $7,000 out-of-pocket maximum in 2018. The Gold 80 plans now have a $7,200 out-of-pocket maximum from a $6,000 out-of-pocket maximum in 2018. We are also seeing a higher drug deductible on the Silver 70 plans from $130 per person in 2018 to $200 per person in 2019. Not only have the plans changed, but each insurer’s provider networks have also changed for 2019. It is absolutely vital that you check to see if your preferred doctors and facilities are in-network for your 2019 renewal.

At Solid Health Insurance Services, we will always strive to keep our clients informed about the healthcare trends and changes to the state and federal legislation around the Affordable Care Act. Our mission at Solid Health Insurance Services is to find for you affordable health insurance, life insurance, long-term care insurance and travel insurance which fits your medical needs and budget for your individual, family and business needs. Please contact us at 310-909-6135 or at