END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (42 states)

Time: D H M S

MOOP

(MOOP: Maximum Out-of-Pocket expense; please forgive my Seinfeld reference.)

When it comes to healthcare policy cost trends, my main focus has been on the average premium rate increases, which currently look (if approved as requested) like they'll go up around 22% on average next year on the individual market (perhaps half that for the small group market).

However, the other major cause of hand-wringing when it comes to healthcare costs these days are deductibles and co-pays...the out-of-pocket expenses which people may have to pay in addition to their premiums. Again, co-pays are a flat fee (usually $30-$50) which you have to pay for many doctor visits, while deductibles are the amount which you may have to pay towards various healthcare treatments/services before the insurance carrier actually starts to chip in their 60-90% of the bill. I don't think co-pays have really changed much over the years, but a whole lot of people feel that deductibles have shot up a lot since the ACA went into effect.