If you need to change your current health plan or find a new one, now is the time to go to HealthCare.gov or CuidadodeSalud.gov to update your information or select a new plan that best meets your needs. You only have until the end of December 15 to make changes to or select a new health plan during the HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment Period. Even if you are happy with your current health coverage, you might find something better during Marketplace Open Enrollment. Every year Marketplace health plans change in cost, coverage, and participating providers. In fact, for the very first time since Healthcare.gov started offering coverage, average premium rates for a benchmark silver plan in 2019 are going down across the 39 states that use the federal platform. In 2019, the average premium for benchmark silver plans will decrease by 1.5% across those states. Also, there will be 23 more issuers on the federal exchanges for 2019 than there were in 2018 and 29 issuers are expanding their service area into new counties.
If you miss the Marketplace Open Enrollment deadline, most people will have to wait a full year before they can make changes to their plans. Consumers have until December 15 to sign up for coverage that starts on January 1, 2019.
Randy Pate is a CMS Deputy Administrator and the Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. In his role, Randy leads CMS’ work on the individual and small group markets, including the Health Insurance Exchanges.
Prior to joining CMS, Randy was Vice President of Public Policy at Health Care Service Corporation. Randy spent nearly a decade working on Capitol Hill, at public policy think tanks, and in the executive branch, including a stint at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the George W. Bush Administration.
Randy holds bachelor and law degrees from The University of Alabama and received his Master’s in Public Health from The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.