Affordable Care Act Insurance: Renewing Your Plan
Want to renew the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance plan you had last year?
It’s the easiest way to go. Right?
If your plan provided you with the health insurance you needed for healthcare, doctor’s visits, medications, and other healthcare needs, automatic re-enrollment might make sense.
Were the premiums and out-of-pocket expenses affordable? Did you have access to the doctors, hospital, clinics, and specialists you needed? If you can answer “yes,” automatic re-enrollment might make sense, too.
And it’s easy. If you want to automatically re-enroll in the same or similar Affordable Care Act insurance plan, you can sit back, do nothing, and hope for the best.
You can renew this way, but you might be in for a surprise. Why?
- Plans can change.
- Premiums can change.
- Some Affordable Care Act insurance carriers even drop old plans or leave the marketplace. New carriers can join the marketplace, too.
- Your status can change like work, family, income, disability, state you live in, etc.
If you want to renew your Affordable Care Act (formerly known as Obamacare) insurance, chances are pretty good you still have a few questions.
Does Affordable Care Act insurance auto-renew?
Yes. If you don’t do anything you’ll automatically be enrolled in the same or similar plan you were enrolled in.
Here’s how it works: When open enrollment begins November 1, you have until December 15 to update any information and select a plan. If you don’t make any changes, you’ll automatically be re-enrolled in the same or similar plan you were enrolled in the previous year.
What do I need to do before ACA insurance renews?
It’s best to review your options for Affordable Care Act insurance before your ACA insurance renews during the Open Enrollment Period. But you’ve got several options, including:
Option 1: Do nothing. It’s really simple. If you’re currently enrolled, don’t do anything. CMS will automatically re-enroll you after December 15, and your new plan will begin January 1.
Option 2: Choose a new plan during open enrollment between November 1 and December 15.
Option 3: Update your information before December 15, then choose a plan. Has anything changed in the past year such as, income, family status, state you live in, disability, etc.? This is important, because your Affordable Care Act Insurance premium tax credits may have changed. After updating your information, choose a plan that best meets your needs and budget.
Option 4. Change your plan after automatically being re-enrolled. If you miss the December 15 deadline and you’re automatically re-enrolled, you still have a chance to change your plan. You can choose a new plan before January 15, and coverage will begin February 1.
Will the price of ACA insurance change?
Probably. But it’s not all bad news. Pricing for Affordable Care Act insurance available through the marketplace typically fluctuates slightly from year to year.
You might think things like inflation and rising healthcare costs drive up the cost of health insurance, but that’s not always the case. In 2022, premiums actually went down by about 3% in most states.
Why? There’s a couple of reasons.
- More options for Affordable Care Act insurance. In 2022, 32 new providers joined the marketing place to offer Affordable Care Act insurance plans. More options in the marketplace help control price increases.
- The American Rescue Plan Act. Funding from the American Rescue Plan Act provided $80 million to help more people enroll in an Affordable Care Act insurance plan. This financial assistance for subsidized coverage also helped reduce monthly premiums to $10 or less for 4 out of 5 people.
Looking for Affordable Care Act insurance that meets your needs and your budget?
If you think automatically re-enrolling makes sense, you don’t have to do anything. But if you have questions about your plan, coverage, and premium, we can help you.
When you receive your notices to re-enroll, call HealthMarkets at (800) 827-9990 and we can help you understand your current status so you can make informed choices for yourself and your family.