What Vermont Residents Need to Know About Obamacare

Vermont Obamacare

What Vermont Residents Need to Know About Obamacare



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What Vermont Residents Need to Know About Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has not been repealed. You are still required to comply with the ACA and you are still entitled to its benefits.

This website provides information about getting health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including:

To begin, keep in mind these key points about health insurance in Vermont:

1. For 2018, you are legally required to have health insurance unless you qualify for an exemption. This will change next year.

For 2018, the Affordable Care Act requires you to enroll in a health insurance plan unless you qualify for an exemption from the law. You must report whether you have coverage -- or whether you are exempt -- when you file your taxes in April.

For 2019, the law will no longer require you to have health coverage. It remains to be seen how this will affect health plans offered under the Affordable Care Act.

To learn whether your current health plan satisfies the requirements of the Affordable Care Act or to find out whether you qualify for an exemption, see Do I Need to Get Obamacare in Vermont?

2. Open enrollment has ended for 2018 health care plans, but you can still get health insurance if you qualify for a special enrollment period.

For 2018, Vermont's open enrollment period ended on December 15. This means that, unless you qualify for an exception, you can't obtain health insurance through Vermont Health Connect until the 2019 open enrollment period begins in the fall of 2018.

To find out more, including ways you might still get covered, see What Happens If I Missed the Vermont Obamacare Enrollment Deadline?

3. Tax credits are still available to save you money.

Many people who sign up for insurance at the Vermont exchange will be eligible for cost savings. For 2018 health insurance plans, savings are available in the form of tax credits to help you lower your premiums.

In addition, if your income is very low, you may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid in Vermont.

For more information, see Ways to Save Money on Obamacare in Vermont.

4. Trump's cancellation of subsidies for insurers may not hit your pocketbook in 2018.

On October 12, 2017, the Trump administration ended subsidies for insurers called "cost-sharing reductions." These payments to insurance companies allowed them to reduce deductibles and co-payments for Americans with incomes between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level.

In the long run, this decision could destabilize the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplaces. For 2018 coverage, however, Vermont's marketplace insurers will remain in place and do not expect to raise rates further. Even if rates go up, many people's pocketbooks will escape direct effects because Vermont Health Connect tax credits will increase to cover the damages.

If you do NOT qualify for tax credits through Vermont Health Connect, however, you may get a better deal by purchasing an insurance plan directly from an insurance company. Be sure to compare the costs of plans available to you through Vermont Health Connect to those available directly from insurers in your area.

An insurance agent or broker may be the best bet for sorting out your options. To find one, see How To Sign Up for Obamacare in Vermont.

5. You can get help signing up if you need it. 

You may have heard that it will be more difficult to find enrollment help this year. That's because the Trump administration has drastically cut funding for the programs that provide enrollment help in many states. The good news is that Vermont doesn't rely on federal funding for its outreach and enrollment assistance programs so you still have many options for free help.

For the help resources available to you, see Get Help Finding a Health Insurance Plan in Vermont.


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