California & Idaho have also launched 2016 Window Shopping (+ Vermont plan info)
2018 MIDTERM ELECTION
Time: D H M S
A few days ago I noted that the Maryland Health Connection has officially launched window shopping for the 2016 open enrollment period (#OE3).
As it happens, at least two other state-based exchanges have done so as well:
COVERED CALIFORNIA: It's pretty obscure for the moment, but if you click the "Shop & Compare Tool" link at the lower left-hand corner of the CoveredCA website, you'll be given the option to shop around for 2016 plans (you can also choose 2015 plans in case you've had a qualifying life change and need coverage for the last 2 months of this year, or even 2014 plans if you still need that information for tax purposes or whatever):
Anonymously Shop and Compare Health and Dental Plans on Your Health Idaho
BOISE, Idaho – Idahoans can now use the anonymous browsing tool on YourHealthIdaho.org to preview and compare the 211 different health and dental insurance plans being offered on the exchange in 2016.
“Before open enrollment begins on November 1, Idahoans can shop and compare different health and dental insurance plans to figure out which one best meets their needs,” said Pat Kelly, executive director of Your Health Idaho. “With more plans being offered this year than ever before, we encourage everyone to look at the choices available to them.”
Prior to the 2016 open enrollment period, health insurance carriers will reach out to their customers to inform them of any changes to their current plan, including differences in rates and deductibles and changes to any providers covered by their plan. “Because there are so many options, working with a trusted agent or broker can help people make the best decision for their healthcare needs and their budget,” Kelly adds.
On average, Idahoans who enrolled in the exchange in 2015 paid about $65 a month for their health insurance coverage; an average monthly savings of $227. In 2016, tax credits may increase to help offset rising health insurance rates. Tax credits are available to Idahoans whose household income is between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
"We hope Idahoans will come to the marketplace and evaluate their options,” said Kelly. “Everyone has to decide whether or not they want to purchase health insurance. Those who choose not to be covered pay a federal tax penalty. This year, Idahoans who choose to purchase health insurance through the exchange may find it more affordable than paying the federal penalty. Plus, Idahoans who purchase health insurance have the added benefit of knowing they are covered if they get sick or have an emergency.”
Households who choose not to purchase health insurance for 2016 will pay a penalty at tax time of $695 for every adult and $347.50 for each child, or 2.5 percent of the household income, whichever is greater. The flat rate is more than double the amount of the 2015 federal penalty.
Idahoans will be able to sign up for insurance plans though Your Health Idaho starting November 1. The open enrollment period will run through January 31, 2016.
In addition, while the Vermont Health Connect site hasn't actually opened up window shopping yet, they have posted a PDF detailing all of the plans available for 2016.
UPDATE: I've confirmed that the Washington State exchange will not be offering advance window shopping (ie, you can't review the new plans via their site until November 1st)