BATON ROUGE, La – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana reminds those enrolling in Healthcare.gov plans that the Open Enrollment Period ends on Sunday, Jan. 15. If you sign up for a plan by Jan. 15, your coverage will begin on Feb. 1.
“If you don’t get an affordable offer of insurance through an employer and don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, I’d strongly encourage you to create a Healthcare.gov account and explore your options,” said Blue Cross Health Care Economist Mike Bertaut. “The tax credits you can use to pay for your plan if you qualify are very generous, and they’re now available to more people. It’s worth it to take the time to shop around and see what financial assistance you’re eligible for – it’s probably more than you think.”
Federal changes for all health plan coverage effective Jan. 1 and beyond may help many more people qualify for financial assistance to pay for Healthcare.gov plans, Bertaut said. “Before this year, the federal affordability standard for employer health coverage only applied to the employee’s out-of-pocket cost, not to what it cost to cover family members on that plan,” he said. “Now, there is an affordability standard for family coverage. If your employer’s offer to cover your family members on your health plan costs 9.12% or more of your total household income, your spouse and dependents can shop for plans on Healthcare.gov – and use any tax credits they qualify for to help them pay for it.”
Bertaut explains the changes effective for 2023 that can help more families find affordable health care coverage in this video (1:33).
Get Help Picking a Plan
If you’re not sure which plan is the best fit for you, especially if you’re planning to move from an employer plan to an individual plan, you can work with an agent at no cost. Connect with an agent by visiting GetPlanOptions.com or calling 1-844-GET-BLUE (1-844-438-2583; TTY 711). Agents are available 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays until Jan. 15.
“I always advise people not to go it alone,” Bertaut said. “You can have a licensed, experienced agent who is familiar with Healthcare.gov plans walk you through your plan choices and show you how to determine what amount of financial assistance you qualify for. It costs nothing and there is no obligation to buy just because you work with an agent, so I’d strongly encourage you to use this option.”
Outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period, people can enroll in Healthcare.gov plans if they have a life event that affects their health care coverage. This includes losing a job with employer health coverage, changes in marital or family status, or moving to a different area. If you need to enroll in a Healthcare.gov plan throughout 2023, you can connect with an agent for help exploring your options.
Short Videos and Other Resources
Follow Blue Cross on social media @BCBSLA to get health plan enrollment tips and see messages about various health topics. Blue Cross posts regularly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube channel features short videos with tips for health plan enrollment. Subscribe to know when new videos are added.
Year-round, you can visit Straight Talk, Blue Cross’ multimedia blog, for ongoing information on health care costs, trends and policy. The blog is typically updated weekly. Visitors to www.straighttalkla.com can sign up to get the Straight Talk e-newsletter, which is issued with every new post.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We have been recognized for the past four years as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media @BCBSLA.