With Open Enrollment for individual consumers beginning today, Independence Blue Cross (Independence), the region’s leading insurance provider, is meeting consumers where they live, work, and play to ensure they know how to choose a health plan, enroll, and get the most from their new health benefits.
Open Enrollment is much shorter this year. Individual consumers have just six weeks to understand their options, make this important decision, and enroll in a health plan. Consumers must enroll in a health plan on or before December 15 if they want to be covered for 2018.
For 2018, Independence is the only insurer offering plans both on and off the Marketplace — including 15 different HMO and PPO plans across all metallic levels on the Marketplace and 17 plans across all metallic levels off-exchange.
The tax credits available in our market are expected to increase this year so consumers may be eligible for more financial assistance to help pay their premiums. Last year, 86 percent of Independence members that enrolled through the Marketplace qualified for financial assistance, and one in five of those members paid a zero-dollar premium.
For those who are not eligible for financial assistance, Independence added two Silver plans that will be offered directly from the insurer. These plans are less expensive but with similar plan benefits as those being sold on the Marketplace. Those not eligible for financial assistance to help pay their premiums should consider enrolling in a plan for 2018 directly from Independence.
To help consumers understand their options and enroll in the coverage that is right for them, the Independence Express, the insurer’s mobile education and retail center, will travel throughout the region every day except Thanksgiving. For more information about Independence events during Open Enrollment, visit events.ibx.com/independence-express.
Independence LIVE, the insurer’s customer and community experience center located at 1919 Market Street in Philadelphia, offers a variety of health and wellness opportunities for the entire community and is a one-stop shop for Independence member services. Licensed agents are also available to help people enroll in coverage. Independence LIVE is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except major holidays.
In addition, Independence licensed sales agents are available by phone at 1-888-475-6206 to answer questions and help consumers enroll in health coverage from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, except major holidays, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through December 10.
Finally, consumers can visit Independence’s easy-to-use website — ibx4you.com — to find the coverage that is right for them and enroll either on or off-exchange. The website includes a subsidy estimator that allows consumers to quickly determine if they qualify for financial assistance to help pay for their coverage.
To complete the enrollment application, consumers will find it helpful to have on hand the following items for all members of the family they wish to enroll:
- Social Security numbers (or tax numbers);
- addresses and dates of birth;
- information on tobacco use;
- income information (pay stubs or W-2 forms, tax returns, and salaries);
- employer information, including employer name, address, and telephone number;
- policy numbers for any current health insurance plans; and
- information about any work-related health insurance available.
Open Enrollment for individuals and family health plans runs from November 1, 2017, through December 15, 2017. Consumers looking for health insurance in 2018 must enroll by the December 15, 2017, deadline.