Did you purchase your health insurance through the federal health insurance exchange (aka healthcare.gov)?
If so we have some important information about what to expect as the end of 2014 draws near.
2015 Re-Enrollment Rule
All individual and family policyholders will need to re-enroll in 2015 coverage when the current benefit year ends in December of 2014. (Click here to learn how insurance effective dates work.)
Just after Labor Day, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its 2015 Re-Enrollment Rule. This document finalizes the rules for an auto-enrollment process designed to streamline re-enrollment for current Marketplace customers.
Here is what you need to know if you purchased 2014 coverage on the Exchange:
- Shortly before Open Enrollment begins on November 15, 2014, you will receive from the Marketplace a notice explaining (1) the auto-enrollment process, and (2) your option to visit the Marketplace to shop for new coverage. You will also hear from your insurance company with information on 2015 premium rates and plan options.
- If you do nothing, you will automatically be re-enrolled in the 2015 equivalent of your current exchange plan on December 15, 2014.
- As long as (1) your income has not changed dramatically and (2) you checked the box on your original application allowing the IRS to view your tax returns, you will keep your 2014 subsidy amount. Note that a reported 90% of consumers did check that box, so it’s likely you did too!
- While final rates and plan descriptions have not yet been released, we do know it is possible that some plans may be canceled or changed for 2015. Here is a quick summary of how cancellations will be handled within the auto-enroll process. We know it is confusing, so if you learn of your plan’s cancellation, give us a call.
- If your plan is canceled on the Exchange for 2015, but will be offered outside the Exchange, you will be automatically enrolled in the off-exchange plan. This will mean you will NOT be able to collect a subsidy unless you select a new plan on the Exchange.
- If your plan is canceled altogether, you will be automatically enrolled in a plan of the same metal level.
- If a similar plan is not available within the same metal level, you will be automatically enrolled in a different plan offered by the same carrier in the same metal level.
- If your carrier does not offer a different plan of the same metal level in which you were previously enrolled, you will be automatically enrolled in a plan either one level up or down from your current level.
- If the plan into which you are automatically re-enrolled has a higher premium than your current 2014 coverage, you will be responsible for paying that higher amount if you enroll in that coverage.
What Does it All Mean?
The bottom line is this: The re-enrollment rule is designed to streamline the enrollment process for 2015. But, consumers must be aware that the plan you would be auto-enrolled into may not be the best option for you, your healthcare needs, or your budget.
BE SURE TO CHECK OUT ALL OPTIONS available to you when Open Enrollment begins on November 15 by visiting www.healthcare.gov to compare plans, prices, and benefits. Be sure to include our National Producer Number (1585616) and FFM User ID (JONKATZAGENT) on any Exchange application so we can help you with your policy.
Virginia Medical Plans Can Help
As always, we will be standing by to help you understand your options and make the best choice to meet your needs.
We anticipate an increase in call/email volume as we get closer to November 15, so please get in touch by phone (1-800-867-0800) or email (email@example.com) early in the process.