The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare is entering into its trickiest year yet. This is due to the fact that we could see multiple market dynamics change, which has the potential to cause substantial percentage hikes for US citizens in 2017. One of the causes of these changes has been a failure to provide adequate financial backing for those insurers who lose money. This is only out of several things that could cause a premium hike in the double digits in 2017. Due to this, it’s important that you fully understand the program to save as much money as possible. Let’s take a look at some ways to save money in these tricky times for Obamacare.
Browse Different Products
One of the best things you can do is to take the extra time each enrollment period to look at different plans. If you signed up for an Obamacare plan the previous few years that will be available in 2017 and do nothing, you’ll automatically be re-entered into the same plan for the following year. Many people choose this re-enrollment, because it is simply easier as you have to put in no effort at all. However, the issue is that plan coverage and premium costs can change from year to year, which means that the lowest cost and best value option this year may not be the same for next year.
Be Savvy About Where You Move
Where you live has a major impact on how much you’ll have to pay for health insurance in 2017. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to pack up and move to the cheapest part of the country based only on Obamacare, but it is something to keep in mind when you’re looking for the best place to move to. For instance, be aware that there are seven states in which there is only one insurer that offers coverage–Oklahoma, South Carolina, North Carolina, Wyoming, Alabama, Kansas and Alaska. This means that you won’t be able to find competitive prices in these states. On the other hand, moving to a state or county that has plenty of competition will increase your chances of finding a reasonably priced health insurance plan.
See If You Can Qualify for the APTC
One of the upsides of Obamacare is that it gives easy access to medical care for some middle-class and low-income families and individuals. The Advanced Premium Tax Credit is a subsidy that is given to US citizens whose income falls between the 100 percent and 400 percent range of the federal poverty level. The subsidy helps to lower the expense of monthly premiums. If you qualify for the APTC, then it is essential that you use it to save substantially on your premium. On average, the Obamacare premium drops from $408 to just $113 a month with APTC.
See if You Qualify for CSRs
Another premium that is often overlooked is the CSR or Cost-Sharing Reduction. It can be a massive saving source for those that earn between 100 percent and 250 percent of federal poverty level, which means income between $11,880 and $29,700. CSRs are focused on making treatment costs more affordable by lowering the cost of coinsurance, copays and deductibles when you need medical care. However, it is important to know that CSRs will only be given to you if you have a silver tier plan. Due to this, if you purchase a cheaper plan, then you will not be able to receive CSRs. If your income falls within the 100 and 250 percent range, then you’ll be better off with a silver tier plan instead of a cheaper one such as a bronze tier plan.