Last updated October 12, 2017
You Can Use the Form Below To View Updated Prices For 2017 & 2018 Obamacare Plans For Alabama
Alabama does not run its own state-based health insurance exchange. Instead, residents here use the federally facilitated site at HealthCare.gov. They can also use an independent agent, broker site or company to enroll directly while still taking advantage of cost-saving measures under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
Requirement by Law
Despite the political upheaval this year over healthcare reform, it’s important to note that Obamacare’s individual mandate is still in effect. The IRS has stated that it will be enforcing the mandate as well. Under the Affordable Care Act, all eligible Americans – which represents much of the country – must hold qualifying health insurance or face a penalty fee. For this year, the fee is the greater of 2.5 percent of your household’s taxable income or a flat fee of $695 per adult ($347.50 per child under 18). The fee increases with inflation each year.
Enrollment in Alabama
During the 2017 open enrollment period, 178,414 people signed up for health insurance using the federal exchange, compared to just over 195,000 last year. The shift downward in enrollment can be contributed to several factors, including uncertainty over the current administration’s stance on healthcare reform and rising premium costs.
While people in Alabama can go straight to the HealthCare.gov website for coverage, it may be beneficial to shop around using a comparison site like this one. Getting current quotes from multiple carriers can help you find a plan that adequately addresses your needs and fits your budget. Brokers can also help explain your options more clearly.
In 2018, Alabaman customers will be able to choose from two carriers on the exchange: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, which is offering coverage in all counties for next year, and Bright Health, which will offer plans in the Birmingham metro area. BCBS customers may see an increase in premiums this year of 15.7 percent.
For lower- and middle-income families and individuals – those earning between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level – there are provisions in place for financial assistance, including tax credits and subsidies. Approximately 90 percent of Alabamians qualified for premium subsidies in 2017. For more information about federal financial assistance, start the enrollment process today. Open enrollment for 2018 runs from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017 this year.
In Alabama, rather than establish a state-run health exchange, residents have access to the federal health exchange, Healthcare.gov. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that 171,641 people in Alabama signed up for coverage during the 2015 Open Enrollment Period (OEP), compared to 97,870 in 2014. HHS actually oversees the Healthcare.gov website.
This dramatic increase in enrollment illustrates the success of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. This law enables Americans to receive direct quotes from approved brokers and exchanges, including both privately owned and publicly held, for-profit companies.
Actually, it’s a good idea to compare quotes from multiple, current insurers. This can better explain your many options, including those for pricing and benefits. But it’s important to note that Obamacare required all nonexempt Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014. If not, they faced the penalty of a tax imposed by the IRS.
However, this penalty could have been avoided if beneficiaries purchased coverage during the OEP. This period runs from November 1, 2015, through Jan. 31, 2016. But those with existing coverage were not compelled to change their existing plans.
But for lower- and middle-income families and individuals, there are provisions in place for financial assistance, including tax credits and subsidies. An estimated 89 percent of Alabamians qualified for premium subsidies, which reduced average monthly premiums from $360 to $92. For more information about federal financial assistance, we encourage you to visit Healthcare.gov.