Millions of people have signed up for Obamacare coverage so far, and there are several important things you should know once you’ve enrolled. Read on to make sure that you have all your bases covered for the post-Open Enrollment period.
Your subsidy amount may be different than what you were originally quoted
The quote given when you signed up for Obamacare coverage was based on the premium of the plan you selected less any subsidy you are eligible for. The subsidy amount was determined by the income you provided at the time. But if your actual income—what’s on your tax return – is different than the income amount you provided to get your quote, your subsidy amount could change. Those making between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level qualify for a subsidy in the form of a tax credit, but if you underestimated your income when you enrolled, you may not qualify anymore. This could make your premium bill higher than you expected. It works the other way too. If you overestimated your income and didn’t initially qualify for subsidies, your actual, lower income may mean you do qualify and could make your premium bill lower.
If you’re unsure when your premium payment is due, make sure to check with your insurance company. If your payment is not received in time, you may need to re-apply for coverage.
Review New Materials
Carefully review your member card and other materials your health insurance company sends to you. If you have not received your member card, contact your insurance company. You can typically find the phone number on their website, sales brochures, or other application materials that you received when enrolling.
Expect to re-enroll in your plan each year
Certain life changes —maybe you got married or had a baby – may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period before the next year’s open enrollment period. (A full list of qualifying life events is here.) However, it’s always a good idea to plan to re-enroll every year to make sure your insurance coverage continues to meet your needs and budget. For example, this year you may get a new job or promotion and now have a higher income—that could affect your eligibility for coverage under Obamacare. Plan options also changed from last year and they’ll likely change next year, so it’s possible you could find a better deal or a more appropriate plan for your needs.
There is a grace period of 90 days for those receiving advance payment of the premium tax credit.
If you qualified for subsidies you can get that tax credit in advance and decide how much of it to apply toward your premium each month. If you aren’t able to pay the full premium after paying the first month, the government gives you a 90-day grace period in which to pay, and during which your plan can’t be cancelled.
The professionals at HealthMarkets Insurance Agency can help you navigate the health insurance marketplace and understand all the rules around Obamacare coverage.