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Obamacare shopping is trickier than ever. Here's a cheat sheet.

Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News on

Published in Health & Fitness

Anybody eligible can take those subsidies and shop for any kind of plan on the marketplace. That's why in Texas, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and other states a high-benefit gold plan might be less expensive next year or not much more than a silver plan. It's why many consumers could see their premium bills fall in 2018 -- in some cases, to zero.

To repeat: Shop around. Shop early. The plan you have now probably won't be cheapest next year.

Household income is more than $48,240 for individuals, $64,960 for a couple and $98,400 for a family of four.

More than 7 million of these folks buy individual health insurance plans through or outside the ACA's online marketplaces.

If this is you, you're ineligible for any Obamacare subsidies. That means your chances of getting slammed by premium increases for 2018 are high. Silver-plan premiums are soaring by 35 percent or more because of high claims and Trump's decision to stop cost-sharing reimbursement to insurers.

But there are ways to limit the pain. Generally avoid silver plans and look at bronze and gold. Those premiums are probably rising less.

However, California and about a dozen other states allowed insurers to sell a separate class of silver plans without the cost-sharing money built into premiums. These may be available only outside the official, online ACA marketplaces, so to find them you have to ask a broker or check websites of insurers or online brokers such as eHealth or GetInsured.

Household income is less than $16,643 for an individual, $22,411 for a couple and $33,948 for a family of four.

 

You may qualify for Medicaid, the federal and state health program for low-income people. However, 19 states, mostly in the South, did not expand the program under the health law.

Medicaid eligibility in those places is much narrower, especially for adults, than in the rest of the country. That accounts for many of the 28 million uninsured Americans.

The subsidy calculator shows whether your income makes you eligible for Medicaid and whether your state has expanded Medicaid.

(Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation.)

(c)2017 Kaiser Health News

Visit Kaiser Health News at www.khn.org

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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