Updated on September 22, 2017
Indiana 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 Indiana
During the 2017 open enrollment period, 174,611 people signed up for health insurance using the exchange, compared to over 196,000 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 Indiana customers can use the federal marketplace site for enrollment, 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, Indiana customers will be able to choose from two carriers on the exchange, down from four carriers this year. The remaining carriers are CareSource and Ambetter (Celtic). Anthem and MDWise, two major insurers in the state, are exiting at the end of this year, which will impact nearly 77,000 Indiana customers. Those with plans from these insurers will need to find new coverage for the coming year.
Coverage from these insurers will vary across the state. Premium rate increases for 2018 will also vary, ranging from 2.2 percent (CareSource) to 24 percent (Ambetter/Celtic), with a weighted average of about 7.7 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 73 percent of customers in Indiana 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.
On January 1, 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (later shortened to the ACA) took effect, providing Americans with high-quality health coverage. Also known as Obamacare, this healthcare law has changed the lives of millions of people.
However, individual states were given the opportunity to either create and maintain their own health exchange or let the government handle all of the responsibilities.
Indiana, along with 26 other states, relies on the federally facilitated health Marketplace. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees the ACA, 218,617 qualified health plans (QHPs) were purchased in 2015. This represents 43 percent of all of Indiana's eligible residents.
A side-by-side comparison of coverage options
But you should know that the Marketplace is not insurance. Rather, it only provides the options for different insurance providers and plans, including both private and publicly held, for-profit options. You can click on the Healthcare.gov website to research multiple policies. This provides beneficiaries with a comparison of the current prices and benefits available.
However, under the ACA's provisions, you must purchase coverage during the Open Enrollment Period (OEP). If not, you could face a penalty imposed by the IRS. The OEP runs from November 1, 2015, through Jan. 31, 2016.
And for lower- and middle-income Indiana families and individuals, the healthcare law does offer financial assistance, including tax credits and subsidies. In 2015, research shows that a total of $552 million in premium subsidies were allotted; that represents 87.4 percent of the state's residents. These subsides average $315 per month.
You can use the links below to get quotes direct from national insurance providers.