Amelia Knisely Published

With Rule Change, More Families Likely Eligible For Cheaper Health Insurance

Enrollment help was plentiful for insurance sign-ups in the early years of the Affordable Care Act, such as at this clinic in Bear, Del., in 2014. Though the Trump administration has since slashed the outreach budget, about 930,000 people have signed up for ACA health plans so far this year.

Changes to Affordable Care Act coverage could mean cheaper health insurance for some West Virginia families.

Open enrollment for people who buy health insurance through the marketplace begins Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 15.

This year, a rule recently finalized by the Treasury Department attempted to fix what’s been called the “Family Glitch.” Families who qualify can now forgo their job-based insurance for a more affordable ACA plan. The White House estimated the change could help about one million people gain coverage or get more affordable insurance.

Workers will be permitted to sign up for a plan through the marketplace if their job-based coverage exceeds 9.12 percent of their expected income.

“This is great news for West Virginia families who need health insurance,” said Jeremy Smith, programs director for WV Navigator, which helps West Virginians navigate the ACA enrollment process.

“Thousands of families have never been able to get a plan through the marketplace only because they were offered unaffordable health insurance from their spouse’s job. They have finally created an affordability test,” he said.

Additionally, the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act secured enhanced subsidies and locked in lower prices for marketplace plans for three more years.

“These are probably the most affordable rates I’ve seen in this program,” Smith said. “People should definitely check it out if they need health insurance.”

WV Navigator will host in-person enrollment events around the state, and help is available by calling 304-356-5834.