Officials with the N.C. Department of Insurance remind residents that Open Enrollment for the 2019 Federal Health Insurance Exchange begins Thursday, November 1, 2018 and runs through December 15, 2018 for coverage to start January 1, 2019.
“It is imperative consumers who do not have health insurance elsewhere take part in Open Enrollment to make sure they choose the best insurance plan to meet their needs and to determine if they qualify for tax subsidies, which can offset premium costs,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey.
Eligibility for Advanced Premium Tax Credit Subsidies or APTCS is determined through the enrollment process at www.healthcare.gov.
The state’s largest insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has plans available in all 100 counties of the state, while CIGNA Healthcare of North Carolina has plans available in five counties: Orange, Chatham, Wake, Johnston and Nash.
Also, for 2019, there is a new company on the Exchange approved for operation. Ambetter of North Carolina has plans available for Wake and Durham counties.
Outside the Open Enrollment period, North Carolinians who buy health insurance from Healthcare.gov under the ACA may enroll in an insurance plan only if they qualify for a special enrollment period due to life events, such as having or adopting a child, losing health coverage or moving to a different service area.
According to the 2010 ACA, which is still active legislation, residents are required to maintain ACA compliant insurance. However, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the ACA penalty for not maintaining ACA compliant insurance is reduced to $0 (zero) beginning in this 2019 plan year. Residents are still guaranteed to be insurable and are encouraged to sign up for health insurance if they meet one of the following conditions:
They have current qualifying ACA coverage but may want to change their plan for 2019;
They don’t have health insurance through their employer or their spouse’s employer;
They don’t have government coverage (such as veterans, Medicare and Medicaid);
They are older than age 26 and can no longer be on a parent’s health insurance.
To enroll in or change ACA health insurance policies for 2019, consumers may visit www.healthcare.gov.
Also, consumer specialists within the N.C. Department of Insurance are available to answer any questions about health insurance during ACA Open Enrollment by calling 1-855-408-1212.