For more than 38,000 people in the Milwaukee area currently covered in the health insurance Marketplace (Obamacare), the time to review their coverage and re-enroll is just around the corner. Open enrollment runs November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017.
This year, it is more important than ever, for consumers to ‘shop’ for their best options in the Marketplace, because there will be a different mix of qualified health plans serving southeastern Wisconsin.
With three carriers exiting the insurance exchange in 2017, consumers will have a choice among four qualified health plans in the Milwaukee area next year: Common Ground Health Cooperative, Molina, and Network Health, along with Children’s Community Health Plan – a new option in the Marketplace.
Current enrollees who intend to continue their Marketplace coverage in 2017, need to select their plan and re-enroll by December 15, for coverage effective on January 1. To compare qualified health plans serving the Milwaukee area, consumers can visit healthcare.gov/see-plans.
“We are encouraging everyone to take these next few weeks to compare health plan prices, benefits, and provider networks to find the best fit for their health care needs and their budget,” says Caroline Gomez-Tom, with Covering Wisconsin. “For those with an insurance plan leaving the Marketplace, this is especially important,” she adds. “ Ninety percent of enrollees in our area receive financial assistance for their Marketplace coverage, so the cost of a monthly premium will still be very affordable for most consumers.”
Free, confidential, in-person help is available to consumers to enroll and re-enroll in the Marketplace, as well as BadgerCare Plus, by dialing 2-1-1 to book an appointment with an enrollment assister.
Like last year, the penalty for not having coverage in 2017 will be $695, or 2.5% of the household income – whichever is greater.
This is also a busy time for BadgerCare Plus re-enrollment. Although consumers can sign up at any time during the year, it’s important that individuals renew their BadgerCare coverage on an annual basis.
Adults with income below 100% of the federal poverty level ($11,670 per year for an individual) and children and pregnant women in households with income under 300% of the poverty level ($71,550 for a family of 4), are eligible for coverage in BadgerCare Plus.
The Milwaukee Enrollment Network reminds consumers to be prepared when signing up for healthcare coverage, and to have the following information about themselves and their household:
- social security numbers or document numbers for legal immigrants
- employer and income information for every person in the home who needs coverage (from pay stubs or W-2 forms)
- policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of the household