Open Enrollment: Making smart choices

7:03 AM, Nov 12, 2018

Open enrollment season has arrived, and signing up for health insurance this year may be a lot trickier than years past.

Experts say selecting the right plan for next year begins with what you paid this year.

“If you’re generally healthy, younger, you’re not covering the insurance for other people, it might make sense for you to choose a plan with a higher deductible and lower premium,” advises Consumer Reports’ Donna Rosato.

The average deductible on employer-based health insurance will be around $1,500; for a private policy, $4,000.

The good news is that premiums will be essentially flat or even lower in many places, a stark contrast to 2018, when premiums surged an average 37 percent from the year before for plans sold on the federally run Healthcare.gov platform.

However, premiums would have been 16 percent lower next year if it weren’t for changes made this year by the Trump administration and Congress, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit focused on healthcare policy issues.

These changes include the elimination of the penalty for not having comprehensive health insurance and wider availability of cheaper, less comprehensive insurance plans that don’t meet ACA requirements. Both moves draw healthier people people away from plans sold on the exchanges, driving up their cost.

Read more here.

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