Did you automatically renew your health insurance plan on Dec. 15? Did you pick the same plan without shopping around? You might be missing out on several options that could save you up to $700 a year. Of the health insurance plans available in the federal marketplace, over 70.3 percent have similar, less costly alternatives.The deadline to secure new coverage for Jan. 1 may have passed and your health insurance may renew or begin with the new year, but it is not too late to switch. You have through Feb. 15 to change your mind and find the right health insurance for 2015.
A HealthCare.com study of 2014 and 2015 federal marketplace plans found that:
- 85.3 percent (33,854 plans) of the 43,080 health insurance plans available in both 2014 and 2015 had at least some amount of premium increase.
- 70.3 percent of those plans had a similar alternative that would:
- Prevent individuals from paying a higher premium; and
- Hold their medical deductible steady or even decrease it.
- On average, individuals have access to the following alternatives:
- 27.9 plan options that would lower monthly premiums
- 8.1 plan options with lower premiums and equal or lower medical deductibles
- 4.8 plan options with lower premiums, equal or lower medical deductibles and equal or lower medical out-of-pocket maximums
Bottom line: Most consumers can keep the same 2014 premium or decrease it and/or hold their medical deductible steady or decrease it. It may be worth your time to shop around, whether you let your health insurance plan automatically renew due to holiday stress or contentedness or already enrolled in a 2015 health plan but are having second thoughts.
Keep in mind, cost is not only deciding factor
Of course lower premium may not mean the best coverage for you and your family. Some health insurance plans sold on state exchanges and in the federal marketplace have narrower physician networks or different cost-sharing levels on certain benefits. That’s why it’s important to shop around and compare your options. Look for a health insurance plan that strikes the right balance between your household budget and healthcare needs.
Also be sure to calculate your premium tax credit to see if you can lower cost more when you buy from a state exchange or the federal marketplace. If you prefer to shop the private marketplace or do not qualify for federal financial assistance, you can browse plan options at HealthCare.com.
Avoid double billing
All federal marketplace plans and many state exchange plans were set to automatically renew for 2015. Once you enroll in a new health insurance plan, make sure to cancel your 2014 coverage—or new/renewed 2015 coverage, if you are switching plans—to avoid double-billing.
Open enrollment ends Feb. 15, 2015. Enroll by Jan. 15 to begin coverage Feb. 1. Enroll by Feb. 15 to begin coverage March 1. As of mid-December, nearly 2.5 Americans had enrolled in health insurance plans through the federal marketplace, which is used by residents in 37 states. Enrollment estimates for 2015 range from 9 million to 13 million.
If you need help selecting the right health insurance plan, call 877-275-0485 to talk to a licensed health insurance agent from one of our trusted partners.
 Carey, Mary Agnes. “Nearly 2.5 Million Consumers Have Selected Health Plans on Federal Marketplace.” Kaiser Health News. Dec. 17, 2014. http://kaiserhealthnews.org/news/nearly-2-5-million-consumers-have-selected-health-plans-on-federal-marketplace/.