New York: Oh, yeah...RENEWING enrollees can do so now...

OK, this is a bit embarrassing. I've made a point of calling attention to the widely varying Open Enrollment deadlines from state to state, and I also made sure to write up a blog post regarding Covered California, which started their 2019 Open Enrollment period a full two weeks earlier than everyone else, on November 15th.

However, I completely forgot that New York State of Health does things sort of the opposite way: While new enrollees could start signing up for 2019 coverage as early as November 1st, existing enrollees had to wait two weeks into Open Enrollment to actively renew or change their policies:

Press Release: NY State of Health Annual Renewal Begins Today!
Nov 16, 2018

2018 Qualified Health Plan Enrollees Can Renew Their Coverage for 2019 Now

ALBANY, NY (November 16, 2018) – NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace, today announced that Qualified Health Plan enrollees can begin renewing their coverage for 2019 starting today. Open enrollment for new consumers began November 1, and as in past years, renewal starts on November 16. Consumers must enroll or renew by December 15, 2018 for coverage beginning January 1, 2019.

“It’s important that consumers renew as soon as possible, but no later than December 15 to ensure that there are no gaps in coverage in the new year,” said NY State of Health Executive Director Donna Frescatore.

Renewal notices have been sent to more than 500,000 households with current NY State of Health coverage with information about their 2019 eligibility, health plan options, and costs. These notices informed consumers of what actions, if any, they need to take to renew their coverage for 2019.

Note: Only around 250,000 people selected QHP policies via NYSoH last year, but over 730,000 enrolled in "Essential Plan" policies (NY's name for their BHP program), which explains the 500K household figure (it may also include the nearly 3 million New Yorkers enrolled in Medicaid via the exchange).

Over 95 percent of Marketplace enrollees will see no cost increase in 2019. There is no change in cost for Medicaid, Child Health Plus or Essential Pan enrollees and consumers who are eligible for a Qualified Health Plan with federal tax credits will see no or little increase in monthly costs. In addition, Bronze level Qualified Health Plans will be free to individuals with incomes up to $25,000 and not eligible for Medicaid or the Essential Plan in every county of the state, and less than $50 a month for individuals with incomes up to $30,000 a year in 41 counties. Bronze level Qualified Health Plans provide no-cost preventive care and protect against catastrophic costs despite having a higher annual deductible than other available plans.

I'm actually not sure how many people fit into the "$25K but not eligible for Medicaid or Essential Plan" folks there are in New York...Medicaid expansion runs up to 138% FPL ($16,753 for a single adult), and the Basic Health Plan (Essential Plan) covers folks from 138% - 200%...or $24,280. Not much of a window over that threshold, though I'm sure there are some folks below 200% FPL who don't qualify for BHP for other reasons.

Consumers will continue to have a broad choice of health insurer options in every county of the state. Twelve insurers are offering Qualified Health Plans and sixteen insurers are offering the Essential Plan statewide in 2109. On average, consumers have a choice of four Qualified Health Plan and Essential Plan insurer options in every county of the state.

Consumers are encouraged to shop for the best plan for themselves and their families. NY State of Health will again make several resources available including the anonymous plan search and tax credit estimator tool, and the NYS Provider and Health Plan Look-Up tool. In-person assistors are available in communities throughout the state and the NY State of Health Customer Service Center is available to help consumers with enrollment. The Customer Service Center can be reached at: 1-855-355-5777. Enrollment in the Essential Plan, Medicaid and Child Health Plus is open all year.