Have you heard the term early renewal when it comes to health insurance?
If you currently have individual health insurance (vs. getting it through your employer), you may be wondering if renewing early would allow you to put off switching to a new “Obamacare” plan, and if it would, would it be the right thing to do?
[Remember, “Obamacare” is just a shorthand name for the new health care law — the Affordable Care Act (ACA).]
Many major health insurance carriers are offering their individual policy holders the option to delay the move to a new plan that complies with ACA.
Some carriers call it early renewal or off-cycle renewal, others call it re-enrolling in your current plan.
But whatever term your carrier is using, the company is giving you the chance to essentially reset your policy’s anniversary date — typically to December, 2013. This means your policy stays in force, as is as of December 2013, for one year — until November 30, 2014.
And, there you have it: extra time in your current non-ACA compliant plan!
But is early renewal a good option for you? Consider this: With early renewal, you can …
- Ease into the new market and delay any potentially higher rate increases
- Buy yourself some time during which you can research your options and decide on the best ACA-compliant coverage
- Be able to extend your current plan as far as possible into next year
- Lock in a new premium based upon current rates and members’ ages until 11/30/2014
- Continue to receive your current level of benefits (including any optional riders) as long as possible.
Should you renew early? It depends upon:
- Your age
- Your current policy’s premium
- Your income level (and therefore your eligibility for a subsidy)
- How a reset of deductibles may affect you
The right answer for you may not be the same as for the next person. And deciding can be pretty complicated. If you have heard from your carrier with this option, let us help you decide the best course of action. Get in touch via email or phone!
NOTE: Some carriers have fast-approaching deadlines for choosing this option, so don’t delay!