Ron Bliss: Trump’s promise of better plans

Remember when President Donald Trump told 60 Minutes that health care would be better and cost less under him?

In an unintended way, that will actually come true as Open Enrollment for ObamaCare begins Wednesday, Nov. 1. His actions to take away the cost-sharing subsidies that help silver plans is causing them to rise and is making a gold plan — with a much-lower deductible — more affordable and better than a silver plan.

It is estimated that the move by Trump will actually BOOST ObamaCare with an additional 600,000 individuals taking advantage and signing up for a plan on the Health Marketplace than did last year.

How does this happen? The cost of silver plans went up an average of 19 per cent nationally, due to Trump’s announcement on Oct. 12 that the cost-sharing subsidies would be cut off. But as the cost of silver plans went up, so did plan subsidies for those individuals who depend on help to pay their premiums. Subsidies to lower the over-all cost of plans are geared to the second-highest cost silver plan on the exchange.

Now it is estimated that those who qualify for a subsidy will be able to get a gold plan (not affected by the cost-sharing loss) for what a silver plan cost last year because their subsidy will be larger than it was last year. Also, many will be able to get a bronze plans for $0 premium due to the increase in subsidies.

Ironically, the overall effect of what Trump did will wind up costing the government MUCH MORE than it would if the cost-sharing subsidies were still in place.

So don’t be afraid to ask a broker to help you, starting Wednesday. You may be surprised at the actual cost of your plan.

Those who do not qualify for subsidies — many of those who were upset with ObamaCare — are going to be the ones hurt the most.

They will also have options and may decide to go with an indemnity plan through a company off the exchange. North American Health Plans is offering an ACA-compliant plan that costs between 40 and 60 percent less than an ACA plan. The stickler there is you must pass underwriting to get one and if you have pre-existing conditions, if may not be the plan for you.

Either way, I can help. Give me a call at 775-224-7169 and I will either help you myself or put you in touch with one who can.

Open Enrollment only runs through Dec. 15 this year, so don’t wait until the last minute. Silver Summit will be the only choice on the exchange in all but three counties — Washoe, Clark and Nye.

A reminder that Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) started Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7. I and my fellow brokers can also help you with a Medicare plan — either a supplement, a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Part D drug plan — so don’t hesitate to call.

Ron Bliss, an independent insurance agent in Carson City, is a former long-time sports writer who has sold health insurance on and off the exchange in both Nevada and California since 2011. In addition to major medical plans, he sells other ACA-compliant plans off the exchange, as well as Medicare supplements and Medicare Advantage. He also has short-terms health plans, dental and vision plans and supplemental health insurance plans, as well as a variety of life insurance plans. You can reach him at 775-224-7169.


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