Shorter time to enroll and higher premiums for health insurance

There is less time to enroll plus premiums are going up.

BOISE - If you don't have health insurance through your employer and plan on enrolling in the individual marketplace, you're going to want to do it so sooner rather than later this year.

Open enrollment begins Wednesday and will run until December 15.

The time window is one month shorter than last year's.

Your Health Idaho has tried to make the process as easy as possible by simply logging on to their website.

"In Idaho we are very fortunate that we have great choice, we have four medical carriers, three dental carriers available in 2018 and over 299 plans to choose from. So there are a lot of options, great consumer choice on the exchange and we just encourage everyone to get out and see what's available for them," said Pat Kelley, Your Health Idaho's Executive Director.

You also have the option to enroll directly online but Kelley recommends working with one of Your Health Idaho's agents, who can also be found on the website.

"They are really the expert and they can find the plan that will work best for you and your family, balancing both your budget and your medical needs, that expert advice is free, and that's pretty hard to come by in this day and age," said Kelley.

When shopping for a plan you may notice many premium prices have changed.

"There have been a lot of significant changes in some areas, the average rate increase for the state is 28 percent, that means some are significantly higher than that and some are significantly lower," said Dean Cameron, Director for the Idaho Department of Insurance.

The silver plan is increasing the most -- by 38 percent.

But depending on which plan you select, these premiums could be offset by larger tax deductions.

"Tax credit increases move with premium increases, as premiums go up so do tax credits, and I think that is where the affordability may be a surprise for people," said Kelley.

To learn more about health coverage plans, click here.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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