Michigan Association of Health Plans

Ready, set…Go on Nov. 15 for open individual enrollment

By: Rick Murdock

Michigan’s health plans are preparing now for the next open enrollment period for individual health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. If you are interested in purchasing or renewing your individual plan, you should be getting ready, too.

This spring and summer, Michigan’s health plans were reviewing the limited information they have from the first partial year of the Affordable Care Act, and developing rates for this the upcoming period.

Some companies will be raising rates; others will be lowering them, depending on their experience. Those rates have been submitted for review by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services and forwarded by the department to federal officials.

We expect to see new rate information any day now. Keep your eyes open. And be ready to do the research needed so you can ready to shop for the best combination of rates, co-pays, available physicians and other factors if you are purchasing an individual insurance policy.

Open enrollment will start Nov. 15. For those purchasing insurance through Michigan’s Health Insurance Marketplace, run by the federal government, enrollment will end Dec. 31. For individuals buying insurance directly from a company, the enrollment period will continue to Feb. 15.

(In Michigan, most people have coverage through their employer or a government sponsored program, such as Medicaid or Medicare, so they are not affected by these enrollment dates.)

But remember, the Affordable Care Act requires almost everyone to have insurance in place, or face a penalty. In 2015, that penalty will be whatever is larger, $325 per adult or 2 percent of taxable income.