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Need to know how to change your Obamacare health plan? As the next Open Enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, (also known as the ACA or "Obamacare") quickly approaches, the majority of Americans who signed up for Obamacare have their plans set to automatically renew for this upcoming enrollment period. This only applies to those who selected automatic re-enrollment last year when enrolling in a plan.

afordable care act

In addition to having your enrollment in your current health insurance plan automatically renewed, you may also have tax credits or subsidies automatically renewed. This can be a huge convenience to many Americans, as it means that they won't have to go through the headache of trying to navigate the health insurance marketplace again.

Pay close attention to the letter you receive from your insurance company, as insurance premiums are expected to rise this year. In this case, you may want to opt for a more affordable plan to balance the rising costs of your insurance.

Don't want to be automatically re-enrolled in your current plan? Perhaps your monthly premiums are expecting to go up, or it doesn't provide you with the coverage you need for your personal health needs. Don't worry, you can choose a new plan if you want and you don't have to stick with the same plan indefinitely.

When Can You Change Your Obamacare Health Insurance?

You have two opportunities to change your health insurance policy: Open Enrollment and Special Enrollment.

Open Enrollment is the period of time where health insurance exchanges (public, state, and private) are open for Americans to enroll in health insurance. During this time, people can enroll in a health plan for the first time, re-enroll in their existing plan, or change to a new one. 

The dates for the 2019 Open Enrollment Period are:

  • November 1: The beginning of the enrollment period.
  • December 15: The end of the enrollment period.

Special Enrollment occurs year-round, even after the Open Enrollment period ends. During this time, only Americans who have experienced a qualifying life event may be eligible to enroll or change their health insurance. 

how to change your obamacare health plan qualifying life events special enrollment period

Qualifying events may include having a job change, getting married, adopting or having a baby, or moving to an area with a new plan. If you are eligible, then you will have 60 days to find a new plan or change your existing health insurance plan. Consult with a knowledgeable, licensed agent to confirm whether your unique situation is eligible for the Special Enrollment period.

Additionally, some states have extended their Open Enrollment Periods. Check out this article to see if your state has a longer Open Enrollment Period than the national requirement.

In Order to Change Your Obamacare Health Plan, You May Need to:

  • Update your information to determine if you qualify for subsidies or tax credits to help pay for a new plan.
  • Shop for a new plan that meets your needs and enroll in it before the end of the open enrollment period.
  • If you fail to enroll in a new plan by the end of the open enrollment period, you will automatically be re-enrolled in your existing plan or risk paying the tax penalty.

If you want to skip the hassle, contact HealthMarkets Insurance Agency.

We can walk you through the entire process and help find you a great plan; and our service comes at no cost to you. Our licensed insurance agents who are trained and knowledgeable in navigating the health exchanges, ensuring that you find the right plan for your specific needs. HealthMarkets representatives are available to you at your convenience, night or day. You can reach us online by requesting a free quote, by phone at (800) 360-1402, or in person with one of our agents.




The New York Times: 

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