CHARLOTTE – More than half a million North Carolinians who are insured through the Health Insurance Marketplace have new options to consider for coverage in 2023. These plans not only cover part of your health care costs – they provide free preventive and screening services that help you stay healthy and find problems earlier.
Some health plans will be eliminated in 2023, including Bright HealthCare of North Carolina. Renew or enroll through the marketplace to ensure your plan includes your preferred doctors or locations.
Here are some key dates to mark on your calendar
- Open Enrollment begins Nov. 1, 2022.
- Open Enrollment ends Jan. 15, 2023.
- Enroll by Dec. 15 for coverage effective Jan. 1, 2023.
- Enroll between Dec. 16 and Jan. 15 for coverage effective Feb. 1, 2023.
What if I’m already enrolled?
If you already have health insurance through the marketplace, and your insurance carrier continues to participate, you may be enrolled automatically. You should receive a letter, which may include details about cost or coverage changes.
To avoid getting stuck with a plan that doesn’t fit your individual needs, everyone is encouraged to update their application information and compare new rates.
Can I continue to see my Novant Health doctor?
Avoid the hassle of finding a new doctor by checking to see if they will remain in-network. It can save you time – and money. When a health plan doesn’t have a contract with your doctor or facility, they’re considered out-of-network and can charge you full price. And it’s usually much higher than an in-network discounted rate.
Changes to expect in 2023
In North Carolina, Novant Health is participating in the following plans in 2023:
- Blue Advantage from BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina*
- BlueValue with Novant Health from BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina*
- BlueHome with Novant Health from BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina*
*Not all plans are sold in all regions.
Click here for a detailed list of Novant Health’s marketplace participation in North Carolina, South Carolina and New Hanover.
Can I get financial assistance?
Millions of people qualify for a premium tax credit that lowers their monthly payment, also known as a premium. Nearly 450,000 North Carolinians qualified in 2020.
Eligibility depends on income and household size. This includes people with an annual income up to about $51,000 or $106,000 for a family of four.
In 2021, the average monthly premium in North Carolina was $633, but those who qualified for a premium tax credit paid an average monthly cost of $125 – about $6,000 in annual savings.
Pro tip: If your income rises during the year you also should report it, so your monthly premium subsidy is reduced, helping you avoid a potentially hefty tax bill come April.
How do I sign up?
Healthcare.gov is the best place to go for up-to-date plans covered under the Affordable Care Act. Here’s a checklist of the information you’ll need.
Be cautious when purchasing plans not sold on the marketplace as preexisting conditions may not be covered.
Who is eligible?
U.S. citizens who don’t have insurance through a job, and those who cannot get Medicaid or Medicare, can choose a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Permanent residents and certain other immigrants also qualify.
Why the cheapest plan isn’t always the best option
Comparison shopping is straightforward on the marketplace, because at each of the four levels of coverage — bronze, silver, gold and platinum — benefits are uniform from insurer to insurer. Generally, plans in categories with lower premiums pay less of your total costs. Categories with higher premiums usually pay more.
The lowest premium, a bronze plan, is not necessarily the wisest — or cheapest — choice. Higher deductibles and coinsurance rates could cost more than a higher premium plan if you become ill or have an accident. Coinsurance is the portion you pay for health services once you’ve met your deductible. For example, after your deductible is met, your coinsurance rate could be 20%.
Also, pay close to attention to plan and network types. Some plan types allow you to use almost any doctor or health care facility. Others limit your choices or charge you more if you use providers outside their network.