Q: I already have health insurance from the Marketplace.Is there anything I need to do to keep my plan next year?
A: This year, Open Enrollment for the Marketplace will begin on November 15, 2014, and continue until February 15, 2015. In general, if you are satisfied with the plan you have now, and if it is still being offered next year, you won't have to do anything. As part of the renewal process in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace, generally, if consumers do nothing, they will be auto-enrolled in the same plan with the same premium tax credit and other financial assistance, if applicable, as the 2014 plan year. But it's a good idea to go back to the Marketplace and shop around anyway. There are several reasons why. New plans may be available to you, your plan's premium and coverage may change, and even if your income hasn't changed, the amount of tax credit you're eligible for, may change, too. Of course, if your family situation has changed since you enrolled, or if your income has changed –either up or down –it's very important to go back to www.healthcare.gov, and update your account, to make sure you are getting the correct amount of tax credits. However, you don't have to do this alone;you can call the Marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, except for major holidays.
Q: Will I get information about any changes to my current Health Insurance Marketplace plan in advance, so I can have time to make a decision that fits my needs?
A: Yes. The plan you are in now has to send you information about what, if any changes, will be made starting in 2015 to their coverage, including next year's premiums and the amount you may save on the monthly bill with a premium tax credit, if applicable. In addition, the Health Insurance Marketplace will send you information shortly before the Open Enrollment Period begins, explaining the automatic enrollment process, including how to go back to the Marketplace to see if you qualify for additional financial assistance, and how to shop for your 2015 plan.
If your 2013 Federal Income Tax form showed very high income, or if you did not give the Marketplace permission to check updated tax information so that you get the correct tax credits, for the next year, you may be automatically re-enrolled in your current plan, but will get no tax credits that you may have been receiving to offset the premium unless you return to www.healthcare.gov and provide updated information. This process will help provide continuity of coverage and safeguard taxpayer dollars. However, if it is determined that you were eligible for tax credits, you haven't lost them;you can claim them the following year when you file your tax forms. But most people like to get the tax credits upfront, to reduce the out-of-pocket cost of their monthly premiums;this is why it is so important to report any changes in your situation to the Marketplace, on your application, which you can do either online or by calling the call center.
For more information, visit www.healthcare.gov, or call the Marketplace call center at
1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, except for major holidays.
Finally, remember, the dates for Marketplace enrollment, which are November 15, 2014, through February 15, 2015, don't affect the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15, 2014, through December 7, 2014, the same as it was last year.
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