A lot of customers have questions about what will happen to healthcare.gov, the individual insurance market and the Affordable Care Act (healthcare reform law) in the Trump administration, and with the issuing of the executive order on Jan. 20, 2017.
While there has been a lot of media coverage about possible changes, the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land, and the rules from it are still in place right now.
Below are some common questions and answers. Blue Cross will continue monitoring federal executive and legislative changes, and will work to give our customers updated information about how any changes that happen in 2017 would affect their health plans and/or coverage.
Since a new president (Donald Trump) is in power and issued an executive order about the Affordable Care Act, is my healthcare.gov plan changing?
- No, your health plan is not changing right now.
- You should refer to the information you received in your 2017 plan changes/rate letter to see what your health plan will cover and what your premium will cost in 2017. This is current information and doesn’t change because of the new president being in office or because of the executive order.
- If you buy your own health plan through healthcare.gov, it is Open Enrollment. You can shop for a new plan at www.healthcare.gov through Jan. 31, 2017.
- After Jan. 31, 2017, you can only buy a plan or change plans on healthcare.gov if you have a life-changing event (get married or divorced, move to another area, lose a job, have or adopt a baby, etc.) and qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
- If you get your healthcare through your job (which is not through healthcare.gov), then your employer will have the latest information about anything that changes with your healthcare coverage for 2017.
- We know there are a lot of news stories out there discussing possible changes, but right now, the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land.
- If anything happens that would cause changes to your plan, we will let you know about it as far in advance as possible and give you information to help you stay on top of your coverage needs.
- Blue Cross staff are constantly monitoring activity at the federal level so we will know about any changes and how they would affect plans we offer, and we will keep our customers informed.
- n You can check out our website www.StraightTalkLA.com to see the latest news and information. Our healthcare economist, Mike Bertaut, discusses many topics involving proposed changes to the healthcare reform law.
How soon could my healthcare.gov plan change?
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, like other insurance companies that sell plans on healthcare.gov, will keep track of anything the new president or Congress does that could affect the plans we sell on healthcare.gov or your coverage.
- We will keep updating you as more information becomes available.
- Making these kinds of changes is a political process, which takes time.
- At this point, the information you received from Blue Cross about what your plan will cover and what your premium will cost in 2017 is current and is what you should use to make plans for your healthcare coverage in 2017.
- If you want to shop for a new plan on healthcare.gov, Open Enrollment lasts through Jan. 31, 2017.
Is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana going to drop out/be kicked out of healthcare.gov because of the new president/administration?
- We are already committed to being on healthcare.gov and selling plans for 2017, and we will continue to do so.
Does the individual mandate still apply/do I still have to have health insurance if the new president and Congress say they are going to get rid of that?
- Yes. At this time, the Affordable Care Act, in its current state, is the law of the land.
- Under the “individual mandate” part of this law, almost everyone has to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty.
- That law is still in effect. Right now, unless you meet one of the exceptions to the individual mandate, you could still have to pay a tax penalty if you do not have healthcare coverage.
I want more information!
- Blue Cross will continue to provide updated information about how any political or legislative changes that happen in 2017 affect our health plans.
- If you have questions about buying a new healthcare plan for 2017, you can contact your insurance agent or check out healthcare.gov.
- If you get your insurance through your job, talk to you employer’s HR department about what changes are coming for your coverage in 2017.
- Blue Cross’ Straight Talk website, StraightTalkLA.com, has lots of information about plan costs and healthcare coverage for 2017, and what we’re doing to hold down costs. This site is updated often, so check there for details.