Some ObamaCare plans automatically renew Jan 1st, others don’t. Ensure your plan and cost assistance before Dec 15, to avoid problems.
How Auto-Renew Works
Lots of states allow your plan to “auto-renew” for next year, but not all do. If your plan auto-renews you’ll get similar coverage and similar cost assistance. If your plan doesn’t renew then it will be up to you to pick a new plan. If you don’t pick a plan you may end up getting auto-renewed in a similar (not same) plan automatically, you will also have your cost assistance based on last year!
We strongly suggest taking action and updating your Marketplace info to ensure your cost assistance and coverage is what you want. You can 100% end up owning money back on taxes or even incurring the fee if you ignore re-enrollment and open enrollment all together. Do not assume you are covered and don’t assume your household income will be exactly the same this upcoming year.
Auto-Renew for 2015 and Beyond
The auto-renew and the renewal process works the same way each year. For this year update your plan info and confirm your plan by Dec 2015 to have coverage in place for Jan 1, 2016.
Not All States or Plans Will Offer Auto-Renewal
NOTE: Not all state’s offer auto-renewals, some plans may not auto-renew, and some may renew with a similar plan with similar cost assistance. You’ll need to verify your plan and info each year before Dec 15th for a plan that starts the 1st and by the end of open enrollment at the latest each year.
How Auto-Renew Worked On Last Year’s Plans
Those who changed plans before Dec 15, 2014 ensured their cost assistance and plan choice. All plans ended Dec 31, 2014, with renewed plans starting anew on January 1st, 2015.
Moving forward the dates may change slightly, but the same process will be in place. Everyone with a health plan should take action to ensure their plan renews by December 15th.
Key Facts About ObamaCare Auto-renewal
There are only a few things you will need to know about automatic renewal of Health Insurance Marketplace plans purchased last year.
First off, there are a few scenarios that can play out. The only way to know is to review your account at HealthCare.Gov or your state’s marketplace.
- You’ll be automatically re-enrolled in last year’s plan, with last year’s premium tax credits and out-of-pocket savings.
- You’ll be automatically re-enrolled in last year’s plan, but without any premium tax credits or other savings.
- You’ll be automatically enrolled in a plan similar to last year’s plan, with last year’s premium tax credits and other savings.
- You’ll be automatically enrolled in a plan similar to last year’s plan, but without any premium tax credits or other savings.
- You won’t be automatically enrolled in any plan and must instead choose a new Marketplace plan.
Second There are a few key dates to remember. We discussed those above, but let’s set them to bullet points:
- Last date to verify your plan and cost assistance information is December 15th (for 2014 this was a soft deadline, actual renewals went through on the 19th. This could be true moving forward, but don’t bank on it).
- All marketplace plans purchased last year end on Dec 31st. If they auto-renew they simply start again Jan 1st. (this doesn’t mean you will be without coverage during the switch, as one plan ends another begins.)
- New plans start Jan 1st.
- Last date to enroll in a plan for 2015 was Feb 15th, 2015 (barring special enrollment periods). Switching plans and verifying cost assistance at any time before open enrollment will get you the plan of your choice, even if you have been automatically enrolled or dropped you can still switch plans during this time. However, normal waiting periods apply so you may go without the coverage of your choice if you don’t take action before December 15th.
See more details on switching plans and verifying information in the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Go to HealthCare.Gov Now
Hopefully you already got the notification from your insurer and followed up on it. However, if you haven’t verified your plan and information get over to HeatlhCare.Gov or your state’s marketplace now. Don’t let this one slip your mind or you could really regret it later.