Obamacare is Not Dead! What Vermont Residents Need to Know About Obamacare for 2018

Vermont Obamacare

Obamacare is Not Dead! What Vermont Residents Need to Know About Obamacare for 2018



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Obamacare is Not Dead! What Vermont Residents Need to Know About Obamacare for 2018

In Vermont, open enrollment for 2018 health insurance plans begins November 1, 2017 and ends December 15, 2017.

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has not been repealed.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. You are legally required to have health insurance unless you qualify for an exemption.

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.

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 for 2018 health insurance plans runs from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017.

For 2018 health plans, Vermont open enrollment runs from November 1, 2017 through December 15, 2017. That's only half the time of previous open enrollment periods, so act promptly to be sure you are covered.

During open enrollment, residents of Vermont may use the website Vermont Health Connect to choose their health insurance plan, apply for cost-saving subsidies, and get other help they need.

To get coverage beginning January 1, you must enroll by the end of the day on Friday, December 15.

If you are currently uninsured, you can use the state marketplace to compare plans and enroll in a plan that meets your needs. 

If you already have health insurance, you will be automatically re-enrolled in your existing plan if it is still available. Even if you can continue in the plan you have now, however, open enrollment provides an opportunity to review your coverage, compare plans, and switch to a new one if you find a better option.

To learn more about enrollment, see How To Sign Up for Obamacare in Vermont.

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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