Did you sign up for Obamacare in 2014? If you failed to log in to make changes by December 15, your plan may have auto renewed. You could have been re-enrolled into the same plan, or into the most comparable policy available. Some insurers will no longer operate through the healthcare Marketplace. Anyone insured by companies that left will have their coverage cut-off on December 31. Regardless of the plan, all 2014 coverage ends December 31. 2015 coverage begins January 1.
No worries. Whether your coverage was renewed, replaced, or cancelled—there’s still time to make changes. February 15 is the final deadline—the end of open enrollment 2015. Either log in, or be on the lookout for a notice in the mail to learn more about your policy’s renewal status.
2015 Marketplace changes
Marketplace coverage is a whole new ball-game in 2015. Here’s why:
New players: According to the Department of Health and Human Services, over 75 new insurers have been added to the state-based and federal healthcare Marketplaces this year.
New pitching: More insurers means more competition. That’s good news for you. You may find better plans and lower pricing in 2015.
New rules: There’s a cap on all out-of-pocket expenses the customer can be expected to pay each calendar year. The 2015 annual cap is set at $6,600 for individuals, and $13,200 for families. That’s a price increase from 2014. The old cap was set at $6,350 for individuals, and $12,700 for families.
New pricing: Those who were automatically re-enrolled in their existing plan may be shocked to discover a price increase. The best way to save money is to purchase one of the new policies introduced in 2015.
New penalties: The Affordable Care Act created a tax penalty for those without health insurance who cannot qualify for an exemption. The Obamacare penalty increases in 2015 to the greater of two percent of your annual household income, or $325 per adult, and $162.50 per child under 18.
People without access to employer sponsored health insurance may qualify for the premium tax credit or cost sharing reduction. Even those who don’t qualify may be able to find more affordable healthcare options. Visit your local Liberty Tax® office, or call our ACA Hotline at 1-800-673-8600, to speak with our Affordable Care Authority representatives.
-- By Alice Robeson