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It's Open Enrollment: Here's What You Need to Know About the ACA in Virginia

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It’s open enrollment season for health care via the Affordable Care Act. And while uncertainty over federal policy has meant a big jumps in prices, it’s also meant a jump in subsidies.

 

Albemarle County has seen the steepest rise in prices on the healthcare marketplace. Insurance for a family of four could cost more than $3,000 dollars a month. And while that’s the worst case scenario, there are price jumps all over the state.

“The premiums in Silver Plans have been ratcheted up significantly in Virginia,” said Jill Hanken with Enroll Virginia, a nonprofit that helps people sign up.

That’s partially because of a recent move by President Donald Trump. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies have to give discounts to poorer people. Trump decided the federal government wasn’t going to reimburse companies for those discounts, so they’re making the money by charging more for those middle of the road plans.

 

Learn More: How Much Could My Plan Cost?

That’s hitting people who don’t qualify for subsidies the hardest. But the good news, says Hanken, is that it also means tax credits are rising.

“So people are finding that they’re getting even larger tax credits than previous years,” Hanken says. “And you’re able to use those tax credits to purchase a silver plan, or a bronze plan, or even a gold plan.”

To qualify for a subsidy you have to make below 400-percent of the poverty line. For an individual that’s about $48,000 a year.

 
There are plenty of variables at stake in a plan's cost: where you live, how much money you make, whether you’re purchasing for just yourself or others. There’s no way to really know your options until you go online and shop around.

This year many parts of the state have fewer options than last year, meaning even those who have signed up in the past may have to start from scratch when shopping around.

Despite budget cuts, Enroll Virginia will still be fully staffed through open enrollment. You can reach them at 1-888-392-5132.

Open enrollment goes through December 15th for plans that start January 1, 2018.

 

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association

 

 

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