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A State-by-State Guide to the 2018 Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period

Health insurance works a little differently than other types of insurance in that you can only buy it at certain times. The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has a single period – open enrollment – when most people will be eligible for buying health insurance for the upcoming year.

If you’re selecting a plan through your employer, please read this blog post—but if you’re planning to use a plan made available under the Affordable Care Act, read this post below.

Read more: Picking Health Insurance at Work: Know Your Options

Open enrollment started on Nov. 1, 2017, but deadlines vary by state. The federal exchange (Healthcare.gov) is only open until Dec. 15, 2017. During that timeframe, the website will shut down for maintenance, at a maximum, from midnight until noon every Sunday except Dec. 10. It will also shut down overnight on Nov. 1, the first day of open enrollment. For hurricane victims, open enrollment has been extended for all Medicare enrollees and some federal health exchange consumers to Dec. 31, 2017. More here. Plans sold during open enrollment start Jan. 1, 2018.

There are several reasons why this is – in order to control costs and offer coverage, the government and insurers don’t want people buying health insurance when they get sick and dropping it as soon as they’re better – but what you need to know is if you need to buy your own health insurance and won’t qualify for a special enrollment period, you need to shop during open enrollment so you’re covered and aren’t in danger of paying the individual mandate.

But health insurance options change from year to year and state to state. Premiums rise (or, if you’re lucky, fall), insurers leave or enter markets, and deadlines change.

Find your state below for the details on what’s happening in your health insurance exchange during open enrollment 2018. Quick note on premiums: Unless otherwise noted, the percentages below exclude the Obamacare subsidies. Those subsidies can minimize the impact of premium increases on consumers, but, due to the current political climate, there’s a lot of uncertainty as to whether they’ll be provided. More on how Obamacare subsidies work here.

Alabama

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017; All Medicare enrollees and some federal exchange shoppers living in areas declared an emergency or disaster area due to the recent hurricanes have until Dec. 31.
What’s happening to premiums: 15.7% average increase
Participating insurers: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Bright Health
Other stuff to know: Bright Health is only available in the Birmingham metropolitan area.

 

Alaska

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: Alaska has received re-approval for its state-based reinsurance program this year; proposed rates have premiums decreasing by 22.23% or increasing by 1.03%.
Participating insurers: Premera

 

Arizona

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 7.2% average increase for BCBS plans; Ambetter’s TBD
Participating insurers: Ambetter, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

 

Arkansas

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 8.8% average increase, which assumes the Obamacare subsidies
Participating insurers: Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, QualChoice, Centene/Ambetter

 

California

Enrollment deadline: Jan. 31, 2018
What’s happening to premiums: 12.5% average increase, which assumes Obamacare subsidies. Update: Covered California announced on Oct. 10 that, in order to keep premiums stable, it is adding a cost-sharing reduction surcharge to its silver plans. That surcharge will range from 8% to 27%.
Participating insurers: Anthem Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California, Chinese Community Health Plan, Health Net, Kaiser Permanente, L.A. Care Health Plan, Molina Healthcare, Oscar Health Plan of California, Sharp Health Plan, Valley Health Plan Western Health Advantage
Other stuff to know: California uses a state exchange, Covered California.

 

Colorado

Enrollment deadline: Jan. 12, 2018
What’s happening to premiums: 26.7% average increase, which assumes Obamacare subsidies
Participating insurers: Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Bright Health, Cigna, Colorado Choice, Denver Health Medical Plan, Kaiser Permanente, Rocky Mountain Health Plans
Other stuff stuff to know: Colorado uses a state exchange, Health Colorado. Colorado Choice was acquired by Friday Health Plans, formerly Melody Health Insurance, in June 2017.

 

Connecticut

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 22, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 29.7% average increase
Participating insurers: Anthem, ConnectiCare Benefits
Other stuff to know: Connecticut uses a state exchange, Access Health CT.

 

Delaware

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 33.6% average increase
Participating insurers: Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware
Other stuff to know: Aetna is no longer participating in Delaware exchange.

 

District of Columbia

Enrollment deadline: Jan. 31, 2018
What’s happening to premiums: 29.75% average increase
Participating insurers: Aetna, CareFirst, Kaiser Permanente, UnitedHealthcare
Other stuff to know: Washington, D.C. uses a state exchange, DC Health Link.

 

Florida

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017; All Medicare enrollees and some federal exchange shoppers living in areas declared an emergency or disaster area due to the recent hurricanes have Dec. 31.
What’s happening to premiums: 17.8% average increase, which assumes Obamacare subsidies
Participating insurers: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Celtic Insurance Company, Florida Health Care Plan, Health First Commercial Plans, Health Options, Molina Healthcare of Florida

 

Georgia

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017; All Medicare enrollees and some federal exchange shoppers living in areas declared an emergency or disaster area due to the recent hurricanes have Dec. 31.
What’s happening to premiums: 24.15% average increase, which assumes Obamacare subsidies.
Participating insurers: Ambetter, Alliant, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Kaiser Permanente
Other stuff to know: Only 14 of 159 counties in Georgia will have more than one insurer option.

 

Hawaii

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 23.5% average increase
Participating insurers: Hawaii Medical Service Association, Kaiser Permanente

 

Idaho

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 38% average increase
Participating insurers: Blue Cross of Idaho, Mountain Health CO-OP, PacificSource, SelectHealth
Other stuff to know: Idaho uses a state exchange, Your Health Idaho. Bridgespan is no longer offering plans in Idaho.

 

Illinois

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 15% to 46% increases, according to proposed rates
Participating insurers: Celtic Insurance (Ambetter), Health Alliance Medical Plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Cigna
Other stuff to know: Humana, which offered plans on the exchange last year, is exiting the individual health insurance market nationwide.

 

Indiana

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 2.2% to 24% increases, according to proposed rates
Participating insurers: CareSource Indiana, Celtic
Other stuff to know: Anthem and MDWise are leaving the exchange at the end of the year.

 

Iowa

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 43.5% average increase
Participating insurers: Medica
Other stuff to know: Update: On Oct. 23, Iowa officially withdrew its far-reaching request to waive certain Obamacare provisions, amid signs from federal health officials it would not be approved in time for open enrollment. The proposal was meant to stabilize the state’s shaky insurance market.

 

Kansas

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: Medica is proposing 16.62% and 29.79% increases; other insurers TBD
Participating insurers: Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Medica and Sunflower State Health Plan

 

Kentucky

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 20.8% to 34.1% increases, according to proposed rates
Participating insurers: Anthem and CareSource

 

Louisiana

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017; All Medicare enrollees and some federal exchange shoppers living in areas declared an emergency or disaster area due to the recent hurricanes have until Dec. 31.
What’s happening to premiums: 21% average increase
Participating insurers: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, HMO Louisiana, Vantage Health Plan

 

Maine

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 19.14% to 22.90% increases, according to proposed rates
Participating insurers: Community Health Options, Harvard Pilgrim HMOs. Update: On September 27, 2017, Anthem announced it would not sell new plans on Healthcare.gov. Current customers can re-enroll, but because the plans are now off the exchange, they won’t be eligible for federal subsidies.

 

Maryland

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 33% average increase
Participating insurers: CareFirst BlueChoice, CareFirst of Maryland and Kaiser
Other stuff to know: Maryland uses a state exchange, Maryland Health Connection.

 

Massachusetts

Enrollment deadline: Jan. 23, 2018
What’s happening to premiums: 2.53% to 7.47% increases, according to proposed rates
Participating insurers: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, BMC HealthNet Plan, Fallon Community Health Plan, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Health New England, Neighborhood Health Plan, Tufts Health Plan
Other stuff to know: Massachusetts uses a state exchange, Massachusetts Health Connector.

 

Michigan

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 16.5% to 59.4% increases, according to proposed rates
Participating insurers: Alliance, Blue Care Network of Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Health Alliance Plan, McLaren Health Plan Community, Meridian Health Plan of Michigan, Molina Healthcare of Michigan, Physicians Health Plan, Priority Health and Total Health Care USA

 

Minnesota

Enrollment deadline: Jan. 14, 2018
What’s happening to premiums: Minnesota has proposed a reinsurance program that’s still pending approval; were it to go through premiums could decrease in 2018. For now, averages are TBD.
Participating insurers: Blue Plus, Group Health, Medica and UCare
Other stuff to know: Minnesota uses a state exchange, MNsure.

 

Mississippi

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 12.45% to 71.80% increases, according to proposed rates
Participating insurers: Magnolia/Ambetter

 

Missouri

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 36% to 41% increases, according to proposed rates
Participating insurers: Cigna, Celtic, Healthy Alliance

 

Montana

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: Update: On Oct. 19, the state announced premiums are rising an average of 13.1% to 22.3%, up from a previously announced average increase of 4% to 22.3% due to Trump’s cut to CSRs. However, the increases will only affect silver plans. The exact breakdown of premium increases by the insurer is: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana (22.3%), Montana Health CO-OP (16.6%) and PacificSource (13.1%).
Participating insurers: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, Montana Health CO-OP, PacificSource

 

Nebraska

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 16.9% average increase
Participating insurers: Medica Health
Other stuff to know: Nebraska’s Department of Insurance is hosting “listening sessions” beginning in October to help residents who need to sign up for health insurance. You can find the session dates here.

 

Nevada

Enrollment deadline: Nov. 1, 2017, to Dec. 15, 2017 … but Nevada sells health insurance plans all year round, with a 90-day window for coverage to go into effect.
What’s happening to premiums: 38% average increase
Participating insurers: Health Plan of Nevada, SilverSummit (Centene Corporation)
Other stuff to know: Insurers Prominence and Anthem, which provided plans to rural counties in Nevada last year, pulled out of the state’s exchange over the summer. As a result, 14 rural counties were left without a carrier until Missouri-based Centene Corporation stepped in mid-August.

 

New Hampshire

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 0.37% to 45.38% increases, according to proposed rates
Participating insurers: Ambetter from NH Healthy Families (Celtic Insurance Co.), Anthem, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England

 

New Jersey

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 5.21% to 41.76% increases, according to proposed rates. Update: Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey announced on Oct. 17 that the state has approved final rate increases between 16% and 28%. The insurer attributes 60% of the increase to federal policy changes, including Trump’s decision to cut CSR funding, weakened enforcement of the individual mandate and reinstatement of the health insurance tax. Otherwise, it says, premiums would have increased by an average of 9.6%.
Participating insurers: AmeriHealth, Horizon, Oxford Health Insurance

 

New Mexico

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 21% to 49% increases, according to proposed rates
Participating insurers: Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico, Christus Health Plan, Molina Healthcare, New Mexico Health Connections

 

New York

Enrollment deadline: Jan. 31, 2018
What’s happening to premiums: 13.9% average increase; New York estimates premiums for individuals who purchase its most popular silver level plans will decrease around 5% once federal tax credits are applied.
Participating insurers: Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, Crystal Run, Emblem, Empire HealthChoice HMO, Excellus Health Plan, Fidelis Care New York, HealthFirst Insurance Company, Healthfirst PHSP, HealthNow New York, Independent Health Benefits Corporation, MetroPlus Health Plan, MVP Health Plan, Oscar, UnitedHealthcare of New York
Other stuff to know: New York uses a state exchange, New York State of Health. It is one of the most robust in the country, with a total of 15 carriers. Two insurers — Affinity and CareConnect — exited the market this year.

 

North Carolina

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 20.37% to 42.59% increases, according to proposed rates
Participating insurers: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna

 

North Dakota

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 7.86% and 23.86% increases, according to proposed rates
Participating insurers: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Sanford. Update: Medica pulled out of the North Dakota exchanges on Sept. 28, 2017 after its request to raise rates was denied by state regulators. The insurer had requested the increase to account for uncertainty around federal subsidies.

 

Ohio

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 34% average increase
Participating insurers: AultCare Insurance Company, Buckeye Community Health Plan CareSource, Medical Health Insuring Corp. of Ohio, Molina Healthcare of Ohio, Inc., Oscar, Paramount Insurance Company, Summa Insurance Company
Other stuff to know: Carriers in each county are available here. Humana exited the individual exchanges entirely and Anthem pulled out of the 2018 Ohio exchange in June.

 

Oklahoma

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 2.83% average increase
Participating insurers: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Other stuff to know: Participation in Oklahoma’s health care exchange has decreased steadily since 2014, when five insurers — Blue Cross Blue Shield, Community Care, Global Health, Aetna and Coventry — offered plans. Last year, Blue Cross Blue Shield and UnitedHealthcare participated in the exchange.

 

Oregon

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 1.6% decrease to 14.8% increase, according to proposed rates. Update: On Oct. 19, Oregon’s innovation waiver, which sets up a reinsurance program comparable to Alaska, has been approved.
Participating insurers: BridgeSpan Health Company, Health Net Health Plan of Oregon, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, Moda Health Plan, Inc., PacificSource Health Plans, Providence Health Plan, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
Other stuff to know: Per Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services, which powers it exchange, Oregonians who received help with the costs of their health insurance last year paid on average $147 a month.

 

Pennsylvania

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: Update: Pennsylvania released its final rates on Oct. 16, 2017, which has premiums rising by an average of 30.6%, revised from an original estimate of 7.6%. It attributed the last-minute spike to Trump’s decision to pull CSR funding (see above).
Participating insurers: Capital Advantage Insurance, First Priority HMO, Geisinger Health Plan, Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Health Insurance Company, Highmark Inc., Independence Blue Cross, Keystone Health Plan East, UPMC Health Options, Inc.

 

Rhode Island

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 31, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 9.45% average increase
Participating insurers: BCBS, Neighborhood
Other stuff to know: Rhode Island uses a state exchange, HealthSource RI. Rhode Island’s enrollment deadline is normally the 23rd of the month to get covered starting the 1st day of the following month. For December, however, the state will extend this to December 31 to get coverage beginning January 1, 2018.

 

South Carolina

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017; All Medicare enrollees and some federal exchange shoppers living in areas declared an emergency or disaster area due to the recent hurricanes have Dec. 31.
What’s happening to premiums: 33% average increase
Participating insurers: Blue Cross Blue Shield
Other stuff to know: Premiums raised an average 28% in 2017, but 91% of consumers received subsidies.

 

South Dakota

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 15.5% to 17% increases, according to proposed rates
Participating insurers: Avera, Sanford
Other stuff to know: 91% of those shopping on the exchange received subsidies in 2017.

 

Tennessee

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 31.7% average increase
Participating insurers: Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Oscar Health
Other stuff to know: Nearly 13% fewer people enrolled in 2017 in Tennessee than in 2016.

 

Texas

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017; All Medicare enrollees and some federal exchange shoppers living in areas declared an emergency or disaster area due to the recent hurricanes have Dec. 31.
What’s happening to premiums: 26.2% average increase
Participating insurers: AmBetter (Celtic), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, CHRISTUS Health, Community Health Choice, FirstCare (SHA), IdealCare (Sendero), Molina, Oscar Health
Other stuff to know: Texas has a higher rate of enrollees who don’t receive subsidies than some other states and therefore residents can’t expect to be shielded from premium increases. 14% of enrollees receive no subsidies in Texas compared to 9% states like North Carolina.

 

Utah

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 19% average increase
Participating insurers: SelectHealth, University of Utah Health Plans
Other stuff to know: Molina, the second-biggest insurer through the ACA in 2017 with 70,000 covered, is dropping out for 2018. University of Utah Health Plans will expand coverage statewide. Utah saw the third-biggest increase in new enrollees nationwide in 2017.

 

Vermont

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 7.97% average increase, based on an assumption of continued cost-sharing reductions from the federal government.
Participating insurers: MVP Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont
Other stuff to know: Vermont uses a state exchange, Vermont Health Connect.

 

Virginia

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 51.87% average increase
Participating insurers: CareFirst Blue Choice, Cigna, Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc, HealthKeepers (Anthem), Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic, Optima Health Plan (HMO), Piedmont Community Healthcare (and Piedmont HMO)
Other stuff to know: Though there are seven insurers in Virginia, most counties will have a local choice of just one or two insurers on the exchange. On Sept. 15, Anthem reversed a decision to pull out of the Virginia exchange for 2018, ensuring that approximately 70,000 Virginians won’t face empty-shelf counties.

 

Washington

Enrollment deadline: Jan. 15, 2018
What’s happening to premiums: 22.3% average increase without Obamacare subsidies; 10.6% average increase if the are extended. However, 40% of Washington isn’t eligible for subsidies, so the increases could be impactful. Update: On Oct. 16, Washington insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler said the state’s premiums would be 9% to 27% higher than rates proposed in June, due to Trump cutting CSR funding. Kreidler has directed all 2018 insurers offering silver plans on Washington Healthplanfinder to label plans “RATE SCHEDULE WITHOUT CSR FUNDING” so shoppers know to expect higher costs.
Participating insurers: Coordinated Care Corporation, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, Lifewise Health Plan of Washington, Molina Healthcare of Washington, Premera Blue Cross, BridgeSpan
Other stuff to know: Washington uses a state exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder.

 

West Virginia

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 20.7% average increase; That’s based on Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield’s proposed premium which assumes federal subsidies will be eliminated and CareSource’s proposed premium, which assumes they will be continued.
Participating insurers: Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, CareSource

 

Wisconsin

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 19.4% average increase; For the estimated 83% of Wisconsin’s enrolled residents who qualify for subsidies, premiums are expected to decrease slightly in 2018 as an out-of-pocket expense.
Participating insurers: Aspirus Arise, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, Children’s Community Health Plan, Dean Health Plan, Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, HealthPartners Insurance, Medica Health Plans of Wisconsin, MercyCare HMO Inc, Network Health, Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc, Unity Health Insurance

 

Wyoming

Enrollment deadline: Dec. 15, 2017
What’s happening to premiums: 48% average increase
Participating insurers: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming
Other stuff to know: In 2017, Wyoming had one of the smallest premium increases in the country at just 8%.

This post originally appeared on Policygenius and was written by Colin Lalley. 

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