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It’s the most wonderful time of the year—open enrollment! Now this might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about this time of year, but for us here at Penny Insurance Agency, open enrollment is a great opportunity to receive health insurance coverage.

Things are looking different for open enrollment than they did this time last year. Keeping up with policy changes can feel overwhelming, so we’re breaking down what’s been happening in health insurance to keep you in the know:

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law in 2010, health insurance policy owners were given the opportunity to keep their health insurance. They would be “grandfathered” in so that they would not be required to purchase an ACA plan, i.e. Obamacare, and they could keep their existing coverage.

Since then, many of these grandfathered insureds chose to keep their grandfathered plan because they were significantly less expensive than their potential Obamacare plans. Granted, the plans did not offer some of the same coverages that the ACA plans offered.

It is important to know that all ACA plans include maternity coverage, regardless of the gender or age of the insured. This is one of the reasons Obamacare plans are more expensive. Additionally, with the ACA plans, there are several preventive coverages—like shots or screenings—that are free as long as you are going to a physician your policy covers.

Nonetheless, grandfathered insureds chose to pay the deductible for a procedure like a colonoscopy rather than change to a higher premium, or they did not need maternity coverage.

Annual Enrollment for 2018 is different than previous years in that it requires all grandfathered plans to purchase ACA plans. These insureds received notification from their insurance companies that their grandfathered days were almost over and they were “mapped” into an ACA plan similar to the old plan.

So why are people upset? The plan for 2018 contains all the “essential health benefits” contained in Obamacare plans. As a result, these grandfathered insureds have premiums that have doubled or tripled – depending on the coverage, or lack thereof, of the pre-2010 plans.

Obamacare plans provide dental coverage for children younger than 18. Obviously not all adults who purchase an ACA plan have children who will use this coverage; nevertheless, the coverage is built in. This is another reason the premiums are higher. All Obamacare plans have 10 “essential health benefits which must be paid for whether the insured uses them or not.”

Here at Penny Insurance Agency, we make it our priority to provide you with the most up-to- date policy information and comprehensive coverage plans. We know determining the proper health insurance plan for you and your family may seem like a daunting task, but you do not have to tackle it alone—our experienced and knowledgeable agents will be with you throughout the process.

Contact us today if you’re interested in speaking with a Penny Insurance Agency representative. Your protection is our priority.