Release: HealthSource RI Announces Decrease in Average Premium Rates, Expanded Hours as Start of Open Enrollment Period Nears

HealthSource RI to enhance customer service this year by offering in-person enrollment assistance at the Contact Center and by adding weekend hours.

Many Rhode Islanders enrolled in health coverage to see premiums decrease in 2017.

PROVIDENCE, RI– The open enrollment period for HealthSource RI, the state’s health insurance exchange, begins Nov. 1, 2016 and ends on Jan. 31, 2017. As Rhode Islanders prepare to enroll in 2017 coverage, many can expect to see a decrease in premium rates.

“We are pleased that many Rhode Islanders enrolled in health coverage through HealthSource RI will see their premiums decrease,” said HealthSource RI Director Zach Sherman. “With premiums expected to rise 22 percent on average nationally in the coming year, Rhode Island continues to stand out among states for ensuring access to high-quality, affordable care. We are also taking steps to improve customer service during this year’s open enrollment period, including through the addition of Saturday walk-in hours at our Contact Center.”

Rhode Islanders enrolled through HealthSource RI will see an average premium decrease of 0.6 percent in the individual/family market. In fact, many customers could see a much larger decrease when they renew their coverage through HSRI.  Premium rates for some plans offered through the exchange will decrease by more than 5 percent.

The start of open enrollment on November 1 is likely to increase call volume for the HealthSource RI Contact Center and the Department of Human Services. In anticipation of additional customer service needs, HealthSource RI has added staff and hours of service at its Contact Center.

Rhode Islanders once again have the option to get in person help at the HealthSource RI walk-in center at 401 Wampanoag Trail in East Providence, or they may go online at HealthSourceRI.com or call 1-855-840-4774. HealthSource RI’s hours are Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

HealthSource RI will also be adding Saturday hours during Open Enrollment, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., with the exceptions of the Saturday following Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and with limited hours on New Year’s Eve (9 a.m. – 2 p.m.).

HealthSource RI will also be hosting enrollment events across the state throughout Open Enrollment, and customers also have the option of working with navigators or certified application counselors in their community.  For more information or to set up an appointment, Rhode Islanders can go online at HealthSourceRI.com, call the HealthSource RI Contact Center at 1-855-840-4774, or dial United Way 2-1-1.

During open enrollment, new customers can pick the plan that best fits their needs and their budget. Current HealthSource RI customers have the option of being auto-renewed into their plan for 2017 or of picking a different option for the coming year.

Residents can use HealthSource RI’s cost calculator at HealthSourceRI.com for a quick estimate of the price of their health insurance options.

HealthSource RI is Rhode Islanders’ only source for tax credits and other financial help to reduce the cost of health insurance. In 2016, an estimated 4,000 Rhode Islanders missed out on these tax credits because they bought health insurance elsewhere.

Rhode Islanders buying coverage through HealthSource RI will also be able to choose from more than two dozen 2017 health plans from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI and Neighborhood Health Plan of RI, as well as dental insurance plans from Blue Cross Dental and Delta Dental and Dentegra.

Rhode Islanders who want their 2017 coverage to begin on Jan. 1 must pick a plan and pay for their coverage by Dec. 23, 2016. If auto-renewed, customers’ coverage will continue in 2017 as long as they pay their health insurance bill by Dec. 23.

In most cases, Rhode Islanders who do not have health insurance will have to pay a penalty when they file their federal taxes.  In 2017, that penalty could be as much as 2.5 percent of the individual or family’s household income.

Small employers who purchase coverage through HealthSource RI for Employers may enroll in health insurance coverage throughout the year at their regular renewal date.

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