Updated May 24, 2018
Get Pricing Information For 2018 Obamacare Plans In Arizona – Determine If You Are Eligible For Discounted Health Insurance Plan
Arizona did not join the 23 other states in the country that have created their own state exchange or partnership with the federal marketplace. Instead, residents in Arizona can use HealthCare.gov to get access to marketplace health insurance plans during the Open Enrollment Period each year. If Arizonians would prefer not to use a government website to enroll in health insurance, they may also speak to a licensed health insurance agent on the phone or use an independent website like this one to get access to a web-based broker who can handle the application process entirely online.
Requirement by Law
Despite the politics regarding the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, it is still the law of the land, which means that every qualified American must have a health insurance plan that meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. In December 2017, Congress passed a tax bill that repealed the individual mandate penalty that would tax individuals and families who did not comply with the law and get Obamacare health insurance; however, that does not go into effect until 2019, which means that anyone who does not have qualifying health coverage in 2018 could technically be penalized by the IRS when they file their 2018 income taxes.
The penalty increases every year with inflation. It’s unknown what the exact penalty is for 2018 but in the past 2 years the penalty has been 2.5 percent of the taxable household income or $695 per uninsured adult in the family and $347.50 per uninsured child, whichever is greater.
Obamacare Enrollment in Arizona For 2018
Enrollment numbers in Arizona during the 2018 open enrollment period were down from the year prior. In fact, Arizona was one of four states that saw double digit percentage drops in enrollment numbers from the year prior. 165,758 Arizonians enrolled in a marketplace plan for 2018. During the 2017 open enrollment period, 196,291 people signed up for health insurance using the exchange, compared to just over 203,000 in 2016.
There’s a number of reasons why enrollment in Arizona declined over the past couple of years and those reasons are no different than in any other state. Politics, the election, price and carrier/plan options all had a huge effect on whether Arizonians chose to enroll in an Obamacare plan.
In 2018, Arizona customers were able to choose from two carriers on the exchange: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, which is offering coverage in all but two counties for next year, and Ambetter, which will offer plans in Maricopa and Pima counties. Arizonians saw rate increases to plans just as everyone else did.
For families and individuals earning between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, there are provisions in place for tax credits and subsidies, which will help bring down the overall costs associated with their healthcare plans. Approximately 79 percent of customers in Arizona qualified for premium subsidies in 2017. This financial help is available to Arizonians during open enrollment period. If an Arizonian loses their healthcare coverage due to a qualifying life event outside of the open enrollment period, they will qualify for a Special Enrollment Period and can enroll and receive subsidies towards their plan so long as they enroll within 60 days of the qualified life event occurring.
Arizonians also have access to a federally facilitated Marketplace for their healthcare needs, which is known as Cover Arizona. This health exchange provides a source to research and obtain plan quotes directly.
Cover Arizona is comprised of more than 900 statewide organizations, including those representing healthcare and nonprofits. Through this Marketplace, beneficiaries can take advantage of the coverage provided by Obamacare (also known as the Affordable Care Act , or ACA), as well as AHCCCS, Arizona’s Medicaid program.
While officially passed in 2010, the ACA’s actual health insurance exchange portion wasn’t available in Arizona and many other states until Jan. 1, 2014. But research shows that the program has been very successful. In fact, from 2014 to 2015, Marketplace enrollment has increased by 71 percent, including:
- 205,666 Arizona residents have enrolled in the Marketplace, as of March 2015
- 268,391 Arizona residents have enrolled in AHCCCS, as of May 2015
A wealth of coverage benefits for Arizona enrollees
As with any other state utilizing the Marketplace, enrolling in a Cover Arizona plan ensures that people are meeting the requirements of the federal law. And, they can take advantage of the various rights and protections afforded to customers. These protections include those for unjustified rate hikes and coverage exclusions due to pre-existing conditions.
Under the ACA, Americans are required to have at least a minimum level of health insurance. Typically, you can enroll in a policy during the annual Open Enrollment Period (OEP). For the upcoming year, the OEP starts on November 1, 2015, and ends on January 31, 2016. Plans obtained before December 15 take effect on January 1, 2016. However, those who fail to enroll by the deadline may face a financial penalty.
The Marketplace does offer Arizona residents financial assistance, in the form of tax credits and premium subsidies. Tax credits are available to people who enroll in a silver-level plan that make less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). In regard to AHCCCS, Arizona residents must have incomes equivalent to 138 percent of the FPL. For individuals, this is about $16,243; for a family of four, this is just above $33,465.
However, we do advise that you research quotes directly from other insurance providers. This will allow you to compare a wider range of plans, including their benefits and prices.