Philadelphia, PA — With Open Enrollment for individual consumers beginning November 1, Independence Blue Cross (Independence), the region’s leading health insurer, will continue to provide a wide range of plans to meet the needs of the community.
According to a recent poll, nearly 79 percent of Americans do not know when Open Enrollment for individual consumers takes place. Individual consumers have from November 1 to December 15, 2018, to enroll in a health plan if they want health care coverage for 2019.
“There is a critical need for ongoing education and outreach in the market. Independence is committed to helping as many people as possible find the safety and security that comes with having an Independence Blue Cross card,” said Koleen Cavanaugh, vice president of Marketing at Independence Blue Cross. “We are proud to take the lead in helping regional consumers understand how to enroll in a health plan before the December 15 deadline.”
For 2019, Independence is the only insurer offering health plans both on and off the Marketplace in all five counties in southeastern Pennsylvania. This includes 11 different HMO and PPO plans on the Marketplace and 17 health plans off-exchange, including six lower-cost plans available when you purchase directly from Independence.
This year, the premium tax credits available from the federal government are shrinking in our market. The Federally Facilitated Marketplace will make the final determination of eligibility for premium tax credits, and consumers should be sure to return to the Marketplace and update their income information.
With more options in the market this year, Cavanaugh advises consumers to shop for a health plan that is right for them. She suggests looking at the cost to buy and the cost to use health insurance. In addition to monthly premiums, Cavanaugh says that consumers should consider things like:
- deductible, the amount paid by a consumer before health insurance benefits kick in.
- co-insurance, the percentage paid by the consumer each time someone receives health care services.
- co-pay, a flat fee paid by the consumer for each time someone receives health care services.
Cavanaugh also says consumers should think about how they will use their health plan and make sure their preferred doctors and hospitals are in the health plan’s network.
Open Enrollment for individuals and family health plans runs from November 1, 2018, through December 15, 2018. Consumers looking for health insurance in 2019 must enroll by the December 15, 2018, deadline.