Insurance enrollment begins November 15, and that leaves little time for shopping if you want to avoid auto-renewing your 2014 health plan. By this time you have received a notice from your insurance carrier acknowledging whether your plan is still available in 2015 and your new premium rate. If you take no action by December 15, most plans will auto-renew. But is this the best option for you?
Besides the many problems involving premium subsidies I’ve discussed in my earlier blog with the auto-renewal process, the bottom line is that you could end up paying 50 to 100 percent more in premiums if you don’t look at all of your options.
Where to Find Health Plan Savings
Many Americans purchased Silver-tier plans in 2014, which are the second least expensive plans available. With many new insurance carriers entering the market through the federal exchange and state marketplaces and previous ones trying to maintain clients, premiums have become quite competitive in most areas. What does this mean for you? Savings potential.
Besides the basic idea of saving on premiums, premium subsidies are based on benchmark Silver plans. So if the premiums for the these plans drop, so do subsidies. This means less subsidy toward your plan and increased out-of-pocket premium costs for you! Your 2014 Silver plan could end up costing you quite a bit more in 2015. The best way to save – let your HSA for America Advisor help you shop around!
How Much Time Do I Have to Shop?
To keep your current plan from auto-renewing and to sign up for a new plan, you need to submit your new health plan application by December 15 – this also ensures a January 1 policy effective date. The federal exchange and most state marketplaces have opened up their doors to allow for “window shopping”, and our advisors are ready to start reviewing your options.
I expect many new insurance shoppers this year in addition to those looking to save money by switching health plans, so our appointments are booking up fast. It’s important to get a phone appointment time now with your Advisor to look at your 2015 options before your plan auto-renews and you’re stuck paying higher premiums!
Do you have any questions about insurance enrollment? What questions can HSA for America answer for you?
Wiley Long is President of HSA for America, and a passionate advocate for consumer-based solutions that will improve price transparency and lower health insurance and medical costs for people purchasing individual and family health insurance plans.