A health insurance cancellation letter or non-renewal notice can be a real drag, requiring you to re-enroll in new coverage. But if you received one in your mail box, don’t worry; you can take action, obtain a replacement policy, and prevent a gap in your health coverage.
Chances are though, if you’ve found yourself confronting a health insurance cancellation letter in your mailbox, you’re probably frustrated, annoyed, and upset.
But, it’s likely less worrisome than you might think. A non-renewal letter from your health insurance company essentially means your insurance will be terminated, due to no fault of your own. And you should note, usually with a non-renewal, your insurance won’t be terminated right away. You should still be able to keep your health insurance until your policy expires, usually anywhere from 2 months to a year from the date of the letter. So you’ve still got plenty of time to get new health coverage.
Now, if you’re faced with an insurance cancellation letter or non-renewal, there are 3 primary things that you should know. I like to call them the why, the what, and the where.
- You should know why your health insurance policy is being non-renewed by your insurance company;
- What you can do about it/when; and
- Where you can turn for help.
#1. Why Your Health Insurance Company is Non-renewing Your Policy
You may be surprised to learn this, but many insurance companies are non-renewing pre-Obamacare grandfathered plans (plans purchased before March 23, 2010). Many companies are either pulling out of the individual health care market entirely or may discontinue certain plans over the next few years. This is partly due to the impact of health care reform on their business.
While the health insurance cancellation letter itself may not be the most interesting literature, it’s especially important to read in its entirety. This is so you can understand your insurance company’s reason for non-renewing your policy, and to review the options presented. They may even provide options to re-enroll in replacement coverage quickly and easily.
Understandably, receiving an insurance cancellation letter or non-renewal notice in the mail can be frustrating and take some time out of your day. But on the bright side, despite the inconvenience of re-enrolling and the frustration of losing a health plan you’re familiar with, you may now have better options for comprehensive coverage than ever before.
On top of all that, if you received an insurance cancellation letter and choose to purchase replacement health insurance, you can take heart in greater security with better and more comprehensive coverage and benefits, including these 10 essential benefits required by the Affordable Care Act:
- Outpatient care
- Emergency services
- Maternity Care and Newborn Care
- Mental health and substance use disorder services
- Your prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and Habilitative Services
- Laboratory Services
- Preventive and wellness services
- Pediatric services: This includes oral and vision care.
With a little luck you could even qualify for premium tax credits in the form of subsidies to help pay your premiums for your new health insurance coverage.
#2. What You Can Do (and When)
After receiving a health insurance cancellation letter in the mail, you have several options. Because a non-renewal of your health insurance policy is a qualifying life event, it triggers a special enrollment period. Therefore, you have a 60 day window from the effective date of your policy termination to enroll in replacement coverage. The enrollment window may begin as early as 60 days before the stated non-renewal effective date and will end 60 days after the non-renewal effective date.
For example, if Jane Smith’s health insurance policy is non-renewing on March 31st, 2015, and she received her non-renewal notice on June 27th, 2014, she has a few options.
- Purchase new coverage during open enrollment November 15th, 2014 – Feb 15th, 2015 for replacement coverage beginning as early as January 1st, 2015; or
- Purchase replacement coverage up to 60 days prior to or after the non-renewal effective date – in this case, March 31st.
- If she purchases coverage by March 15th, 2015 she’ll have replacement coverage in force on April 1st, 2015 so that there is no gap in her coverage. If she waits past that point or purchases during the 60 days after March 31st, 2015 she could still enroll in a new health plan, but there would be a gap in her coverage.
#3. Where You Can Turn
HealthMarkets Insurance Agency is ready to help. If you’ve received an insurance cancellation letter or non-renewal notice, don’t worry. You can call HealthMarkets and speak with a knowledgeable insurance professional to get assistance finding new coverage. Plus, you may even qualify for financial assistance in the form of a subsidy to pay part of or the entire premium amount for your policy.
HealthMarkets understands the frustration an insurance cancellation letter can cause. We have licensed agents standing by to help you enroll in replacement coverage 24/7. With a HealthMarkets agent on your side, you can rest easy knowing that with an impending non-renewal or insurance cancellation, we’ve got you covered.
Get answers to your questions today. Act fast and call (800) 304-3414.