Many Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) enrollees opt to have their coverage auto-renew every year; however, much can happen within 12 months and this might no longer be suitable.
Auto-reenrolling may be beneficial if your current plan meets all your needs; however, before opting to renew automatically. Be sure to evaluate whether it meets those needs for next year before setting it to auto-renewal.
1. You must be enrolled in a plan
The Affordable Care Act mandates that most individuals carry health insurance. Individuals who fail to do so must pay a penalty; recently this penalty has been reduced to $0. However, many still find the process of enrolling and maintaining insurance difficult; community organizations have responded by helping enroll people into available plans.
The New York State of Health website offers an online plan comparison tool to assist consumers in selecting and purchasing plans best tailored to their needs, as well as help determine whether they qualify for financial assistance. This tool also can assist in determining eligibility.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) features four categories of healthcare coverage: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Each plan offers different benefits and costs; bronze typically features lower monthly premiums but higher out-of-pocket expenses due to high deductibles; Gold plans offer middle-of-the-road costs and benefits while Platinum plans offer the highest monthly premiums while having reduced deductibles/out-of-pocket expenses – with over 3.1 million enrolling this year alone – an 13% increase from last year! Throughout 2018! More than 3.1 million people joined this year’s marketplace compared with last year – representing 13% growth over previous year’s numbers!
2. You must be eligible for a subsidy
If your income falls between 100-400% of the federal poverty level and you don’t qualify for Medicare or employer coverage, and aren’t eligible for premium subsidies from either, then premium subsidies may be an option for you. But remember, the Affordable Care Act mandates everyone have health coverage or pay a penalty fee.
Subsidies for silver plans in your area generally depend on the cost of the second least expensive plan; however, other factors can alter eligibility such as contributions made to health savings accounts or pre-tax retirement plans.
If you receive subsidies, it is imperative that your income and other information is verified annually by December 15 (with possible extensions) in order to continue receiving the correct amount of advance premium tax credits; otherwise you could face liability at tax time for any excess amounts that remain outstanding.
3. You must be enrolled in a Marketplace plan
The Affordable Care Act marketplace allows individuals and families to purchase health insurance plans. Individuals whose incomes fall between 139%-400% of federal poverty level may receive cost assistance for monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
Individuals and families have four metal levels of coverage to select from: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Bronze plans typically offer lower monthly premiums while platinum plans offer the highest. Each plan provides various benefits that could save them money including free preventive care visits as well as lower out-of-pocket expenses for eligible enrollees.
Each year, individuals and families are required to verify their income and select a plan by December 15th (subject to extensions) during the Open Enrollment Period (OEP). Those who miss this deadline may incur fees for failing to have coverage, however short-term plans from eHealth offer solutions in all 50 states, providing up to 364 days of coverage until OEP opens again. For more information please see their comprehensive list of Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant short-term plans which offer up to 364 days coverage in all 50 states! To learn more visit eHealth’s comprehensive list of Affordable Care Act compliant short term plans which offers up to 364 days coverage per plan year! For more details visit eHealth’s comprehensive list of Affordable Affordable Short Term Plans available nationwide with coverage provided up until OEP opens back up again next time!
4. You must be enrolled in a grandfathered plan
Grandfathered plans refer to plans in effect prior to March 23, 2010 which must adhere to some aspects of PPACA but may be exempt from certain consumer protections imposed by it.
No matter what plan type you hold, it is crucial that you understand how the Affordable Care Act’s auto-renewal process works. Enrolled individuals will automatically re-enroll in their current plan if they do nothing by December 15; however, you should compare different options and update information as this could have an impact on any premium tax credits for this year.
Depending on the specifics of your employer’s contract, once its current term ends they will likely switch over to an Affordable Care Act compliant plan – creating a special enrollment period on or off exchange in which you can purchase such coverage as of January 1. Often insurers that terminate all grandfathered plans around Christmas time.