The ACA’s individual mandate penalty will be set to $0 starting in January 2019. People who are uninsured in 2018 (and not eligible for a penalty exemption) will still have to pay a penalty when they file their 2018 tax return in early 2019. But people who are uninsured in 2019 and beyond will not face a penalty, unless they’re in a state that imposes its own individual mandate.


ACA PPO plans are still hard to find and even if you do find one it does not necessarily make it a good choice for nationwide coverage, given the fact that their provider networks may be regional only (Like Avera Health in SD). So, once again we are offering alternative options for those that once something outside of the ACA offerings. The two biggest changes to our offerings in 2019 are 1) Short Term Medical can be written for up to 364 days (and renewed for up to 3 years) and, 2) Premier Plans (Elite Series) are back for self-employed individuals.


The United States health care system relies heavily on private health insurance, which is the primary source of coverage for most Americans. As of 2012 about 61% of Americans had private health insurance according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.[45] The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) found that in 2011, private insurance was billed for 12.2 million U.S. inpatient hospital stays and incurred approximately $112.5 billion in aggregate inpatient hospital costs (29% of the total national aggregate costs).[46] Public programs provide the primary source of coverage for most senior citizens and for low-income children and families who meet certain eligibility requirements. The primary public programs are Medicare, a federal social insurance program for seniors and certain disabled individuals; and Medicaid, funded jointly by the federal government and states but administered at the state level, which covers certain very low income children and their families. Together, Medicare and Medicaid accounted for approximately 63 percent of the national inpatient hospital costs in 2011.[46] SCHIP is a federal-state partnership that serves certain children and families who do not qualify for Medicaid but who cannot afford private coverage. Other public programs include military health benefits provided through TRICARE and the Veterans Health Administration and benefits provided through the Indian Health Service. Some states have additional programs for low-income individuals.[47]
Keep in mind, however, that if your state department of insurance publishes rates in advance of open enrollment, they’ll be the full-price premiums. If you’re eligible for premium subsidies, you’ll end up with lower prices when you eventually enroll. And premium subsidy eligibility extends well into the middle class. A family of four will qualify for subsidies with an income above $100,000 in 2019. So don’t assume you won’t get premium subsidies until you check to make sure!
I can’t believe I missed this post on the day it published. I guess I am a fat-fire type. (I hate this term since I hate anyone calling me FAT!). After reading this I think I should work 3 more months than planned. I told my office staff that I was going to retire on My next birthday on 7/1. I will be 61. I pay health insurance quarterly so I would have my current BCBS plan paid up through 9/17. If I worked until September I could keep the current policy and then choose a catastrophic plan for the next 3.5 years. This all sounds good to me. I was expecting to pay $20000 minimum for a bronze ACA plan. They should be releasing details later this year.
Then you will need to determine if you qualify for a subsidy first. You can do that by running quotes at our ACA enrollment page right here. If you qualify for a subsidy and MONTHLY COST is the most important factor to you then a ACA plan is probably your best option since none of the other options can be used with a subsidy. If you do not qualify for a subsidy, however, you will probably find any of the other options offer a 30-70% lower cost option than an ACA plan.
But on the other hand, people who do that may find themselves between a rock and a hard place if they do end up getting seriously injured or ill, as there are numerous drawbacks to the less-regulated plans. In particular, the ACA's essential health benefits don't have to be covered, which means there could be gaping holes in the coverage (things like prescription drugs, maternity care, mental health care, etc. might not be covered at all, depending on the plan).

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This year’s enrollment period offers good news to many Americans. After two years of carriers leaving markets and steep rate increases, states are seeing carriers re-enter exchanges for 2019 – and average rate increases are smaller than they were in 2017 and 2018.  And, although premium subsidies will be slightly decreased in 2019 (though not in all states), those eligible for cost-sharing reductions will continue to receive them.
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