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ObamaCare 2022: What to Consider When Choosing Health Insurance in the USA

What to keep in mind when registering openly with the health insurance system for 2022. TheMercuryNews.

Photo: Shutterstock

There is good news when it comes to costs for ACA members.

As we all see the price rise on everything from steaks to gasoline, furniture to bedding, there is another important thing to think about: health insurance.

In its annual cost review, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance were up 4% from a year ago, “with workers paying an average of $ 5 in insurance coverage. The average deductible among insured workers in a plan with a total annual deductible is $ 969 per one-off insurance. ”

With the heightened focus on the fragility of our health and the sharp increase in the number of people quitting and changing jobs, this season could be particularly important.

The challenge now is to fight the urge to give up and just do what you did last year and make smarter and potentially money-saving decisions instead.

A look ahead

Start by reviewing your existing health insurance coverage, how much you spent in 2021; and then try to predict what your health care spending will be in 2022.

Remember, in a COVID setting, you may have missed your regular doctor visits that you need to consider next year.

Then compare the plans available to see what they cover; how much they cost, including surcharges and deductibles; and whether your doctors are in the system.

Be sure to list which medications you take regularly and make sure the plan covers them.

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High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)

To reduce your annual insurance costs, consider a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) that offers lower premiums and is paired with tax-free Health Savings Accounts (HSA).

For 2022, the IRS defines a high deductible health plan as any plan with a deductible of at least $ 1400 per person or $ 2800 per family.

If you are generally healthy and looking to save money for future healthcare costs, HDHP / HSA can be an attractive choice.

Or, if you are about to retire, it might make sense because money in the HSA can be used to offset health care costs even after retirement.

The maximum contribution for 2022 is $ 3650 per person and $ 7300 for a family.

Those over 55 can make an additional contribution of US $ 1000.

Flexible Spending Accounts

The popularity of HDHP / HSA options has diminished the emphasis on flexible expense accounts (FSA), but many companies still provide this option.

In 2022, you can save $ 2850 before tax to pay for unreimbursed medical expenses.

FSA critics have lamented that these were use-or-lose plans, meaning that you had to incur the related costs by the end of the plan year, or forgo any unspent amounts.

However, COVID legislation allows for a full transfer of unused funds from 2021 to 2022, provided your company agrees to do so.

If there is no insurance at work

For those not covered by workplace insurance, registration under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is open, effective November 1, and will run until January 15, 2022.

If you want coverage to start on January 1st, you must register by December 15th.

If you wait until December 15th, then coverage will most likely begin on February 1st.

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If you are using a state-owned health insurance exchange, check the specific open enrollment windows as they may differ from the federal government's deadlines.

ACA Member Benefits

There is good news when it comes to costs for ACA members.

According to the government, the average insurance plan will be about 3% lower than in 2021, but there may be a slight increase on some state exchanges.

In addition, ACA subsidies introduced under the American Rescue Plan Act remain in effect until 2022.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has more information about ACA changes that may affect family coverage, so please read it.

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