As we’ve emphasized before, the most important thing currently enrolled marketplace consumers can do during open enrollment is update their household information and compare plans available for 2016. In order to make sure these changes take effect for January 1, consumers must take action by December 15, 2015.
Plans and prices — not to mention the resulting amount of financial help available — change every year, so taking a few minutes to comparison shop can save consumers a bundle.
- Last year, in states that used the HealthCare.gov platform, consumers who switched marketplace plans within the same “metal tier” (which means they kept a similar level of coverage) saved nearly $400 in annual premium costs.
- Similar opportunities exist this year: More than 8 in 10 current marketplace enrollees can find a 2016 plan with lower premiums in the same metal tier as their current 2015 plan.
We’ve updated our popular renewals graphic for the third open enrollment period and encourage you to share it with your networks so that consumers are reminded how important it is to actively renew:
It’s true that most current marketplace enrollees will be automatically renewed next month for coverage effective January 1, 2016, even if they don’t take action. But consumers can take three simple steps to make sure they get the best plan for the best price for 2016:
- See what financial help you qualify for using the Get Covered Calculator. It could be more this year.
- Compare plans with the Get Covered Plan Explorer or find and schedule local, in-person help with the Get Covered Connector.
- Enroll in coverage. Is your current plan the best one? Renew it! Did you find a better plan? Sign up for it (and pay your first month’s premium)!
And although shopping for health insurance may not be as exciting as hitting the Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales, it is getting easier, thanks to Enroll America’s new Get Covered Plan Explorer. This free online tool helps consumers get a personalized estimate of out-of-pocket costs for the marketplace plans available to them. Because as anyone who has used health insurance can tell you, there’s more to costs that the monthly premium. Consumers have lots of choices on the marketplace, and the Plan Explorer helps them find plans with an affordable monthly cost and that offer affordable access to the health care services the consumer needs. Users can even search and filter to find plans that cover their preferred doctors and hospitals.
By taking action before December 15 and following the steps outlined in the infographic, consumers can make sure they’re covered for the New Year with the plan that’s best for them.