Tips on 2016 Health Insurance Plans

OPEN ENROLLMENT Nov 1st 2015 – Jan 31st 2016

Clients and Future Clients, hold back your excitement, as the season for renewing your 2016 Individual Health Insurance is upon us. You only get to do this once a year…literally, once you change you are locked in for 12 months. All kidding aside, it’s a very important choice to make and our goal is to help you get the BEST policy for your specific needs. Give us a call at 425-802-2783 for tips.

Deadlines for Signing Up

The only time you are normally able to sign up for Individual Health Insurance is from Nov 1st 2015 to Jan 31st 2016. If you want coverage for January 1st, the last day to sign up for coverage on the WA Health Exchange is December 23rd and Direct to the Carrier (if your income is above the Tax Credit chart below) is Dec 31st for most carriers.

Outside the normal Open Enrollment period you can get individual health insurance if you have a change in life events, change jobs, married, divorced, move to another state. But only if you had health insurance within 63 days of when you sign up for the new coverage. No exceptions on the 63 day gap in coverage outside of the Open Enrollment period.

Rates are increasing in 2016 (as usual)

Yes, it’s sad but true. Prices are increasing again as usual. However we have tips on how to save money.

Group Health = -4.1%
Premera = +8.8%
Regence = +10.0%
Moda = +16.1%
UnitedHealthcare = New to WA for 2016 and no details out yet (check back here for more info closer to Nov 1st). It’s exciting to have this new carrier in WA.

2016 washington state plan details_50 smaller

Top Health Insurance things to think about:

1. Doctor Network (all networks change slightly from year to year). Ensure your doctor’s are still covered by your plan.

2. Hospital Network (more hospitals are covered in 2016).

3. Prescription Drugs (the coverage list varies from carrier to carrier).

4. How to Avoid Exclusions (tips on how to ensure your procedures are covered and how to reduce out-of-network charges).

Washington Health Exchange or Direct to Carrier Plan? What’s the Difference?

While the plans are the usually the same IN & OUT of the Exchange, the pricing can be dramatically different. For those with income BELOW the 400% Full Cost Level amount you get immediate tax subsidies up front (see chart below to see if you qualify for Tax Credits).

For those that have 2016 income ABOVE the 400% Full Cost Level limit for size of family you will report on your 2016 tax return (can be an issue for blended families). Yes, you will need to estimate your income for 2016 before you sign up (you can always update it as the year progresses).

2015 ACA Income ChartWhich Company is Best?

I get this question every single day and we can definitely help you out.

NOTE: 2016 plan details are not all released. We will update once everything is out.

Call 425-802-2783 for more information.


Below are my areas of expertise:

Gary Franke, MBA
Independent Broker
Achieve Alpha Insurance, LLC           
12507 Bel-Red Rd, Ste 103
Bellevue, WA 98005
(425) 802-2783

Achieve Alpha