Health insurance open enrollment season is here

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The annual season to enroll in health insurance began Saturday with the start of the Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare and will continue with Open Enrollment for Under-65 plans set to begin on Nov. 1.

AEP runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 and, during this time, those who qualify for Medicare can switch from Medicare supplements to Medicare Advantage plans, can change Medicare Advantage plans, sign up for Part D drug plans or switch Part D plans.

Open Enrollment for major medical under-65 plans runs from Nov. 1 through Jan. 15 in Nevada. Those who do not have coverage under an employer plan will have the option of applying for a plan on the Nevada Health Link with a subsidy or applying for a plan outside the exchange without a subsidy.

The Inflation Reduction Act, signed in August by President Joe Biden, will increase subsidies this year, helping offset an average rise of 9.2 percent for plans in the state. Already, the American Rescue Plan, signed by Biden in March of 2021, opened up subsidies for those who previously did not qualify, due to income. Those on off-exchange plans should check to see if they now qualify for subsidies that have expanded to include higher-income individuals.

Family members who were previously required to accept employer coverage under a family member should also check to see if they now qualify for a subsidy.

There will be six plans offered again this year on the Nevada Health Link in Washoe County and four plans offered on the exchange in outlying counties.

They are Aetna CVS, Ambetter, Anthem, Friday Health Plan, Health Plan Nevada, and Hometown Health in Washoe County and all but Aetna CVS and Health Plan of Nevada in Carson City County, Storey County and Douglas County.

Assistance is available from brokers, and other qualified assistors at no cost. Check with the Nevada Health Link, If you need assistance.

Ron Bliss has been a certified agent on the Nevada Health Link since ACA plans were first offered in 2014. He is also certified for Medicare plans and also offers dental, vision and other supplemental coverage, including short-term plans. He is a former long-time sports writer in Tennessee. You can reach him at 775-224-7169.


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