Open Enrollment for 2016 individual plans will begin on Monday November 1st, and continue until January 31, 2016. During this period of time, you will be able to change insurance carriers and your individual plan category (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum).
All carriers have made minor changes to their individual plans based upon Obamacare mandates. There are low or moderate increases in premiums for plans offered through the Covered California State Exchange (for those who need a federal premium assistance subsidy), and for Off Exchange plans for those that do not qualify for the subsidy.
Based upon review of next year’s plans, only Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California will have PPOs available in every county in California. Both carriers have increased for 2016 the number of providers that make up their individual plan provider networks. In addition, both carrier’s individual plans will have access to the full Blue Cross / Blue Shield nationwide provider network.
Anthem and Blue Shield have added new Bronze and Silver plans available for Off Exchange enrollment. These plans have unique features, and lower non subsidized premiums than On Exchange (Covered CA) plans.
If you choose Covered California in order to obtain a federal premium assistance subsidy, you need to begin the enrollment process immediately, because of the paperwork required to prove your anticipated 2016 income level.
For Off Exchange enrollment, you have adequate time to review options. Your application must be submitted by December 15th to have a January effective date.
If you have questions regarding Off Exchange plans and enrollment, please call me at (626) 797-4618 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.