BEND, OR -- Individual Health insurance plans are changing across the board, in advance of next month’s open enrollment period, and many Central Oregonians have received letters saying the provider is discontinuing their current plan. Jason Epple, with Century Insurance in Bend, tells KBND, "It is very very important that everybody pay attention to that letter. Whether you’re in the federal exchange or outside the exchange, now more than ever we really need to pay attention to what’s going on and take an active part in our healthcare; and look at what plans we’re getting funneled into or look at the new price of the current plan that you’re on and make some decisions." He says rates are rising because insurance companies reported major financial losses this year, with premiums coming in much lower than the amount of claims paid out.
If you have not received a letter from your insurance carrier but you're not covered by an employer plan, Epple says you still need to act. "If you, for some reason, didn’t get a letter and you’re in the federal exchange, you absolutely need to go into your account inside the federal exchange starting November first, and take a look at your account and what’s happening with your plan." And, he adds, "If you’re an individual or a family and you’re on a plan inside the federal exchange – it was Cover Oregon once upon a time, and then we all got to move to the federal exchange – if you are in that and you’re receiving a subsidy, you absolutely need to log into healthcare.gov November first and reapply. If you do not reapply, you may not get your tax credit or your subsidy, or you may get an incorrect one."
Epple suggests customers not only shop around for the best insurance carrier and plan for your family, but also price out medical services before seeking treatment, when possible. He says the cost of procedures can vary widely depending on the provider. Open enrollment begins November first.
To hear our full conversation with Jason Epple, visit our Podcast Page