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Ask The Expert: Health Insurance

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Select Health

(KUTV) Open enrollment is underway, and this year, the window to enroll is shorter. It began November 1st and goes through December 15th. This means now is the time to evaluate your coverage and figure out what plan is best for you and your family in 2018.

“Open enrollment is the time to either obtain new coverage for the first time or make a change to your existing plan,” says Heidi Castaneda, director of small employer and individual plan sales at SelectHealth.

If you’re like most people, you likely have a lot of questions related to the Affordable Care Act and subsidies. Castaneda says yes, there is coverage in 2018 and subsidies still exist.

There are two forms of subsidies – advanced premium tax credits and cost sharing reductions. Both can be utilized to make a health plan more affordable.

“Qualifying is easy and in fact in 2018 not only are subsidies still there, but advanced premium tax credits have gone up. So even if you qualified for just a small amount last year, go back out and see what you qualify for because it’s probably a lot larger than you would think,” says Castaneda.

To see what you qualify for, you can visit SelectHealth.org, go through their website, enter some information to find out if you qualify. You can also do this on HealthCare.gov.

When choosing a health plan, ask yourself, “Which facilities and which providers do you want access to?” Take a look at this past year and peek into next year to see what you might need coverage for. Are you planning a pregnancy? Do you need surgery? Are you getting married?

The most important thing is to find a plan that fits your needs so you don’t get hit with a penalty for not signing up.

“Regardless of which plan you choose, the best part is that all of them are going to cover preventive care,” says Castaneda.

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