It’s fall again, meaning shorter days, cooler temperatures, and open enrollment for Affordable Care Act marketplace insurance — sign-ups begin this week for coverage that starts Jan. 1, 2023. Even though much of the ACA coverage stays the same from year to year, there have been a few changes you’ll want to take note of this fall, including those that might help you even if you don’t usually buy ACA insurance, but have been having trouble finding an affordable health plan through your employer.
In the past year, the Biden administration and Congress have taken steps — mainly related to premiums and subsidies — that will affect 2023 coverage, and could reduce your cost. Meanwhile, recent court decisions have triggered questions about what sorts of preventive care or abortion services each plan covers.
So, what’s new, and what should you know if you’re shopping for a health plan? Here are six things to keep in mind.
1. Sign up soon
Open enrollment for people who buy ACA health insurance via HealthCare.gov or one of the state exchanges begins Tuesday, Nov. 1 and, in most states, lasts through Jan. 15. To get coverage that begins Jan. 1, enrollment usually must occur by Dec. 15.
2. Your family might now qualify for a subsidy
One big change is that some families who were barred in past years from getting federal subsidies to help them purchase ACA coverage may now qualify.
A rule recently finalized by the Treasury Department aims to address what has long been termed the “family glitch.” The change expands the number of families with job-based insurance who can choose to forgo their coverage at work and qualify for subsidies to get an ACA plan instead. The White House estimates that this adjustment could help about 1 million people gain coverage or get more affordable insurance.
Before, employees could qualify for a subsidy for marketplace insurance only if the cost of their employer-based coverage was considered unaffordable based on a threshold set each year by the IRS. But that determination took into account only how much workers would pay for insurance for themselves. The cost of adding family members to the plan was not part of the calculation, and family coverage is often far more expensive than employee-only coverage. The families of employees who fall into the “glitch,” either go uninsured or pay more through their jobs for …….