Open Enrollment ended January 31, 2017. You may still be able to get ACA coverage in 2017 before the next Open Enrollment period if you or someone in your family has a qualifying event. See the list of qualifying events.

Medical Plan Options

There are many reasons health insurance costs continue to increase. In some cases, you might think you can’t afford health coverage. Now more than ever, it’s important to review your health insurance options.

Youtube Video

Medical Plan Options
2:49 min.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Plans

It’s important to consider that this year more people may be eligible for higher subsidies which could lower monthly payments and possibly out-of-pocket healthcare costs. In some cases, plans are available for as low as $0/month with a subsidy.* Here are some things to know about ACA plans:

  • You can sign up for ACA plans during open enrollment November 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017
  • Plans include comprehensive medical coverage, such as doctor visits, urgent care, hospital stays, prescription drugs, etc.**
  • $0 preventive services include check-ups, flu shots, immunizations, well-woman exams, etc.
  • Financial help, called subsidies, may be available

You can review and sign up for ACA plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov.

How to enroll on the Marketplace PDF

Short-term Medical Plans

If you are not eligible for subsidies or are interested in a low-cost medical plan, short-term medical insurance may be an option to consider. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is working with The IHC Group (IHC) to offer short-term medical plans that include:

  • No enrollment period; you can apply any time during the year
  • Coverage for 30 to 90 days
  • Premiums as low as $95/month with a choice of deductible and coinsurance options*
  • Includes doctor visits, hospital stays and more
  • Add Rx drug benefits, out-of-pocket expense coverage, or telemedicine

Please note that short-term medical plans are not ACA-compliant plans, which means you may have to pay a tax penalty.

Learn more about Short-term Medical plans PDF

It’s important to do your research before making any decisions about the type of ACA plan that could be right for you and your family. Consider these points when deciding:

  • Review your health. How much healthcare you need is an important factor in choosing a health plan. If you know you’re going to need a medical procedure or you have a health condition, consider those costs when choosing a health plan.
Youtube Video

How to Choose a Healthcare Plan
2:18 min.

  • Know what’s included. Every health plan has a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC). It provides information about deductibles, out-of-pocket limits and covered services. It’s like a nutritional label for a health plan.
  • Check the plan’s network. Check to see if your doctor is in the plan’s network. If not, are you okay with changing doctors? Not all doctors are in all BCBSAZ networks. It’s important to know that visits to doctors who are not in your plan’s network are not covered.
  • Plan your spending. Spending less on monthly premiums typically means you pay more when you need medical services. Plus, you may have a higher deductible. On the other hand, paying more each month for your premium may mean you have a lower deductible and spend less out of pocket. What works best for you?

Financial Help

Think you can’t afford health insurance? More people may qualify for subsidies this year than last. Find out if you can get financial help—called subsidies—that are available from the federal government:

  • A Premium Tax Credit helps you pay for all or part of your monthly bill.
  • A Cost-Share Reduction helps pay your share of the costs for medical care, such as copays, deductibles and coinsurance.
Youtube Video

Financial Help
1:20 min.

Take a look at this chart to see if you may qualify for a subsidy:

2017 Qualifying Income Levels table
2017 QUALIFYING INCOME LEVELS
Number of people in your household
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
To qualify for government help to pay for your premium, your annual income must be between... 
$29,701-
$47,520
$40,051-
$64,080
$50,401-
$97,640
$60,751-
$97,200
$71,101-
$113,760
$81,451-
$130,320
To qualify for government help to pay for your premium and out-of-pocket costs, your annual income must be between...
$16,395-
$29,700
$22,109-
$40,050
$27,822-
$50,400
$33,535-
$60,750
$39,248-
$71,100
$44,961-
$81,450 


Financial Help PDF

How to Enroll on the Marketplace

The Health Insurance Marketplace, or “Marketplace” as it’s often called, is a website where you can shop for and enroll in a health plan, and apply for subsidies and other financial help.

In Arizona, the Marketplace is run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They ensure that all of the plans featured on the site meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Youtube Video

How to enroll on the Marketplace
2:22 min.

When you visit the Marketplace (Healthcare.gov), you can:

  • Compare different health insurance plans
  • Get answers to questions about health plan features
  • Find out if you can sign up for programs such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program
  • Find out if you qualify and apply for a subsidy or other financial help
  • Enroll in a health plan that meets your needs

Keep in mind that it can take up to one hour to complete an application. If you have to step away, simply save your information. When you log in again, you can pick up where you left off.

How to enroll on the Marketplace PDF

The Cost of Being Uninsured

Whether it’s a visit to the emergency room or a prescription, you could face large medical bills if you don’t have insurance. Plus, you may need to pay a tax penalty for being uninsured. For 2017, if you’re uninsured you’ll pay whichever of these amounts is greater:

  • $695 per adult plus $347.50 for each child (up to $2,085 per household)
    per household) 
Youtube Video

The Cost of Being Uninsured
2:22 min.

OR
  • Up to 2.5% of your household income*

Insurance reduces the cost of medical care

Let’s compare! For a fractured bone without surgery:

The average amount billed is $7,329.40.* The average amount paid by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona insured members is $558.11 That’s a difference of $6,771.29!

As you can see, health insurance can make it more affordable to get the medical treatment you might need.