Updated September 22, 2017
Get Pricing Information For 2017 Obamacare Plans In Arizona – Determine If You Are Eligible For Discounted Health Insurance Plan
Arizona 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 Arizona
During the 2017 open enrollment period, 196,291 people signed up for health insurance using the exchange, compared to just over 203,000 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 Arizona 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, Arizona customers will be 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. Rate increases have not been officially released to the public, but customers here have historically seen significant premium hikes for unsubsidized exchange plans.
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 79 percent of customers in Arizona 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.
The residents of Arizona have access to a federally facilitated Marketplace for their healthcare needs. 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.