The window for signing up for health insurance plans effective Jan. 1, 2019, closes at the end of Obamacare open enrollment on Dec. 15 of this year, following the opening of the federal exchange — — tomorrow.


ACA Open Enrollment begins Nov. 1

While this opening is of somewhat limited interest to applicable large employers (ALEs) — those companies with 100-plus workers who must provide health insurance for their employers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — there is one scenario to be on guard for.

If even one employee working for an ALE cannot afford his or her company health insurance premium and goes on the federal exchange to get subsidized health care, then that ALE is subject to an assessment from the IRS.

Some changes: The open enrollment under President Obama ran through Jan. 31 of the next year, offering staggered start dates, but the Trump administration not only shortened the sign-up time frame, it also cut the advertising and promotional budget twice. It now stands at just $10 million.

Still, in 2018 the shortened enrollment fell only 500,000 consumers short of the year before, from 9.2 million enrollees to 8.7 million.

Despite what critics have called the Trump anti-ACA agenda, this year for the first time, health insurance premiums are expected to decrease,  not increase.