Changing Your Coverage During Open Enrollment

Each year, consumers who buy health insurance in an Exchange Marketplace can pick a new health insurance plan during the Open Enrollment period. If you are currently enrolled in a Marketplace health insurance plan, and your plan will still be available in 2018, you can stay in that plan or choose a new plan. If you are enrolled in a Marketplace health insurance plan that will no longer be available in 2018, the Marketplace will match you to a similar health plan offered by a different health insurance company unless you pick a new plan on healthcare.gov.

To ensure you receive the correct amount of financial assistance, it is critical that you return to HealthCare.gov to make sure that information about your 2017 household and income are up to date. You could qualify for more or less financial assistance than last year. This will also help you avoid paying money back when you file taxes.

You should also compare the plan you were matched to with other health plans available in your area and make sure that your doctors and prescription drugs are covered before selecting a plan. Certain aspects of your plan, such as covered benefits, prescription drugs, and doctors may be different from last year. If you don’t select a plan before the deadline, you will be automatically enrolled in the plan you were matched to by the Marketplace for January 1 coverage.

Here are some key dates to keep in mind:

October

The Marketplace will send a notice with general information about open enrollment, including whether you have been matched to coverage offered by a different health plan.

Your health insurance company will send a notice letting you know if your current coverage will not be available in 2018.

By November 1, if your current Marketplace health insurance plan will still be available in 2018, you will receive information in any changes in your coverage, such as premium and deductible, estimated financial assistance (if applicable), and benefits.

November

Open Enrollment begins on November 1. You can update your 2018 application on HealthCare.gov and review the plans available in your area. To review the 2018 health plan you were matched to, see the “Current or Alternate Plan” under your plan results. Update your application and confirm your plan selection by December 15.

You may receive additional information from your health plan about changes in your coverage, including more up-to-date information about your eligibility for financial assistance (if applicable).

Late November/Early December

You will receive a billing statement for January coverage. If you have questions about the plan you were matched to, like whether your doctor or prescription drugs are covered, contact your new health plan or the Marketplace. You can also return to HealthCare.gov to see all the plans available in your area or select a different plan.

December 15

Update your application and confirm your plan selection by December 15. This is the final deadline to enroll in coverage for 2018. If you do not enroll by this date, you will not be able to enroll in coverage unless you experience certain life events and qualify for a special enrollment period.

Remember:

Pay the January premium by your new health plan’s deadline to enroll. Your coverage will not start until you make your first premium payment. You can learn more about this process and how your coverage may be impacted on HealthCare.gov.