The Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” has helped millions of Americans get health insurance. It has also changed the way insurers do business.
The ACA makes it illegal for health insurance companies to arbitrarily cancel your coverage just because you’re sick. It also bans discrimination based on gender or health.
Can I Cancel My Coverage?
Obamacare has helped increase the number of people with health insurance by overhauling the individual market and expanding Medicaid, a public program that covers low-income Americans.
The law also includes subsidies to help lower-income individuals afford coverage. These subsidies, called tax credits, help lower income individuals pay for a portion of their health insurance plan.
You can cancel your Marketplace plan yourself, but you need to follow a slightly different process if you are eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). If you have questions about whether to keep or end your Marketplace coverage contact your state’s health insurance marketplace.
Can I Cancel My Subsidies?
Health insurance subsidies help people pay for their ACA-compliant plans. Those subsidies are based on your household size and income, and can help you save on the cost of your health insurance premiums.
Those subsidies may also reduce your out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles and copayments. However, those subsidies are only available to ACA-compliant plans that you purchase through your state exchange.
Those subsidies will end when you turn 65, or when you are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A. You can request that your subsidy be cancelled, but you must follow the cancellation process outlined by your exchange.
Can I Cancel My Plan?
Many times, it’s necessary to cancel your plan, such as when you start a new job or age out of your parents’ coverage. Sometimes, it’s as simple as making a phone call or accessing your online account.
But there are some things you should know before canceling your plan.
For instance, Marketplace plans typically have a 14-day delay before coverage ends. You owe premiums during this time, so it’s important to act quickly.
You may also want to cancel your plan if you get a new job with a better health plan. That will drop you from your ACA subsidy, or make you eligible for virtually free Medicaid or CHIP.
Can I Cancel My Marketplace Plan?
When you buy your health insurance through the Marketplace, you can compare plans from different providers, based on price, benefits, and networks. You can also see if you qualify for a government subsidy that will lower your monthly cost.
The ACA established the Marketplace to make it easy for people to find affordable, high-quality health coverage. Consumers can use the Marketplace during an open enrollment period or during a special enrollment period triggered by certain life events, such as the birth of a child.
You can cancel your Marketplace plan if you have other health coverage, such as job-based or Medicaid or CHIP, or if you no longer want it. There is usually at least a 14-day waiting period before your Marketplace coverage ends.
Can I Cancel My Medicaid or CHIP Coverage?
Medicaid is a federal-state program that provides health coverage to low-income people and families with children. It is a critical source of affordable insurance for over 80 million Americans, including 42 percent of all births.
CHIP is a separate program that provides free or low-cost health coverage to children who do not qualify for Medicaid. It is administered by states, according to federal requirements.
The exact process for canceling Medicaid or CHIP coverage varies by state, but a good first step is to call your state’s Medicaid agency or your health plan. They can let you know your end date for cancellation and help you with the process.
Can I Cancel My Individual Market Plan?
The individual market is a major source of comprehensive health insurance for Americans who cannot get coverage through their employer or government programs. Many consumers in this market are eligible for financial assistance to help lower their monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs when they need care.
The ACA created annual open enrollment periods for ACA-compliant plans sold on and off-exchanges (many state-run exchanges have their own deadlines). But you can also enroll in a new ACA-compliant plan outside of the open enrollment period if you experience a qualifying event.
Generally, you must enroll within 60 days of the qualifying event to qualify for a special enrollment period, but some states offer an additional 60-day window before your special period begins as well. Be sure to verify your eligibility with your exchange, HHS, or an enrollment assister if necessary.