November is here self-insuring friends. It's been a dramatic entrance, but here we are.

I don't know about you, but I saw the estimated 20% increase in my premium before Trump announced that he would be permanently ending the subsidies. I also noted that my plan would change pretty dramatically (for me) who travels outside my home state. My coverage really will only be available in Washington State unless it is an emergency.

I'm anxious to see what the final number will be for my 2018 plan. Those who don't qualify for the subsidy are hit the hardest. (Yup, that’s me.) Our premiums are going up, and our coverage may change. 

I'm buckled in for this bumpy ride and am interested to see how things unfold in the coming year.

We can’t afford to procrastinate given the shortened open enrollment time. Don’t get sucked into early online Xmas shopping, get your research on stat and lock what little plans we have left in place. And if insurance isn’t offered in your area, let’s find you a solution.

For 2018, some highlights and resources to help you out.

  • Open enrollment is Nov 1 - Dec 15, which is half of what it used to be. 
  • Health insurance is still available, but there are some counties where insurance companies are leaving completely, and new companies aren't joining. Excuse me? For example, in the State of Washington, Blueshield /Regence is no longer available in Western Washington on the individual market but is available in some counties in Central Washington. There are also two counties in Washington State where no individual insurance coverage is available at all. That sucks. Also, super mind-bending.
  • Premiums are increasing.
  • Your plans are most likely changing so read the fine print. Make sure your favorite healthcare providers are still considered “in-network.” 
  • To learn more about your home state, Policy Genius does a solid synopsis state-by-state here, but in this day and age when information changes so fast, I would also go directly to your State Insurance Commissioner website or your State Healthfinder site for additional information.
  • The Balance wrote a post about options for self-employed folks as well which I think are solid. Among the suggestions, is to see if you can get in on group insurance through a professional organization. For example, I just checked my alma mater's alumni site, and as it turns out, they do offer group insurance, and I will be plan and price comparing this month.

Stay on your toes. Learn the facts. Check and double-check. Don’t be discouraged and reach out if you need some support. This stuff is hard.

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